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From the Earliest Time to the Present; Together with an Historical and 
A Biographical -Sketch of Giles, Lincoln, Franklin and Moore 
Counties;, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminis- 
cences, Observations, Etc., Etc. 


Nashville : 



The State History, only, has b«en 
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1886, by 
In the Oflfice of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 


'/' ' ■i 



THIS volume has been prepared in response to the prevailing and popular 
demand for the preservation of local history and biography. The method 
of preparation followed is the most successful and the most satisfactory yet de- 
'ised — the most successful in the enormous number of volumes circulated, and 
f- 10 most satisfactory in the general preservation of personal biography and 
family record conjointly with local history. The number of volumes now being 
distributed appears fabulous. Within the last four years not less than 20,000 
volumes of this class of works have been distributed in Kentucky, and the 
demand is not half satisfied. Careful estimates place the number circulated 
in Ohio at 50,000; Pennsylvania, 60,000; New York, 75,000; Indiana, 35.- 
000; Illinois, 40,000; Iowa, 35,000, and every other Northern State at the 
same proportionate rate. The Southern States, with the exception of Ken- 
tucky, Virginia and Georgia, owing mainly to the disorganization succeeding 
the civil war, yet retain, ready for the publisher, their stores of history and 
biograpiiv Within the next five years the vast and valuable fund of pei'ishing 
event in all the Southern States will be rescued from decay, and be recorded and 
preserved — to be reviewed, studied and compared for the benefit of future gener- 
ations. The design of the present extensive historical and biographical research 
is more to gather and preserve in attractive form, while fresh with the evidences 
of truth, the enormous fund of perishing occurrence, than to abstract from insujQBi- 
ient contemporaneous data remote, doubtful or incorrect conclusions. The 
ue perspective of the landscape of life can only be seen from the distance that 
nds enchantment to the view. It is asserted that no person is competent to 
rite a philosophical history of his own time — that, owing to conflicting cir- 
omstantial evidence that yet conceals the truth, he can not take that luminous, 
»rrect, comprehensive, logical and unprejudiced view of passing events, that will 
ble him to draw accurate and enduring conclusions. The duty, then, of 
listorian of his own time is to collect, classify and preserve the material for 
. final historian of the future. The present historian deals in fact, the future 
+orian, in conclusion; the work of the former is statistical, of the latter 
^ him who has not attempted the collection of historical data, the obstacles 
surmounted are unknown. Doubtful traditions, conflicting statements, 
ct records, inaccurate private correspondence, the bias or untruthfulness 
ners, and the general obscurity which envelopes all passing events, 
o bewilder and mislead. On the contrary, the preparation of statis- 


tical history by experienced, unprejudiced and competent workers 
ties; the accomplishment by a union of labor of a vast result that t\ 
one person the best years of his life and transfer the collection of 
event beyond the hope of research; the judicious selection of importi 
from the general rubbish; and the careful and intelligent revision o. 
manuscript by an editor-in-chief, yield a degree of celerity, system, accxiracy, 
comprehensiveness and value unattainable by any other method. The pub- 
lishers of this volume, fully aware of their inability to furnish a perfect his- 
tory, an accomplishment vouchsafed only to the imagination of the di-eamer 
or the theorist, make no pretension of having prepared a work devoid of 
blemish. They feel assured that all thoughtful people, at present and in 
future, will recognize and appreciate the importance of their undertaking an-l 
the great public benefit that has been accomplished. 

In the preparation of this volume the publishers have met with nothing but 
courtesy and assistance. They acknowledge their indebtedness for valuable 
favOrs to the Governor, the State Librarian, the Secretary of the State Historical 
Society and to more than a hundred of other prominent citizens of Nashville. 
Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Jackson, Clarksville, Columbia and the 
smaller cities of the State. It is the design of the publishers to compile and 
issue, in connection with the State history, a brief yet comprehensive historical 
account of every county in the State, copies of which will be placed in the 
State Library. In the prosecution of this work they hope to meet with the 
same cordial assistance extended to them during the compilation of this 


Nashville, September, 1886. 



New Orleans, The Movement upon *'J7 

New Orleans, Jackson's Victory at 468 

Seminole War, The 409 

Tories of East Tennessee, The 454 

Talladega, Battle of 468 

Tohopeka, Battle of 4G5 

Texas-Mexican War, The 472 

Tennessee Troops Sent to Mexico 474 to 476 

War of 1812, The 461 

Wahoo Swamp, Battle of. 472 


Federal Military History 477 

Burnside's Occupation of East Tennessee 490 

Bridge Burners Ordered Hanged • 4s8 

Campbell's Station, Battle of. 491 

Confederate Movements 486 

Fishing Creek, Battle of 488 

Federal Trcops Furnished, Total 497 

General Movements 489 

Greenville "nion Convention, The 481 

Issue Joinea, The 483 

Kuoxville Union Convention, The 479 

Knoxville, Siege of. 492 

Longstreet u*. Buruside 491 

Loyalty of East Tennessee 477 

Morgan, The Killing of. 495 

Kegimental Sketches 497 to 6'2 

Skirmishes, The Concluding 496 

Union Leaders, The 478 

Union Regiments Organized 484 


Confederate Military History 513 

Army Bill, The 522 

Arms, Condition and Quantity 515 

Aid Societies 639 

Advance to Columbus, The 643 

Army Rolls 595 to 617 

Belmont, Battle of 545 

Burnside in East Tennessee 658 

Call to Arms, The 518 

Confederate Government, The 635 

Chickamauga, Battle of 556 

Confederate Line, Danger to the 547 

Confederate Forces, iiggregate 646 

Defensive Measures, Extent of. 536 to 639 

Election Returns of June 8 532 to 534 

Evacuation of Middle Tennessee 550 

February Convention, The 614 

Fishing Creek, Battle of 547 

FortHenrv, Fall of , 648 

Franklin, Battle of 660 

Fort Donelson, Fall «i 548 

Georgia Campaign, The 569 

Legisluture Convened, The 618 

Militia, Reorganization of the 615 

Military League, The 528 

Militia Transferred to the Confederacy 540 

Memphis, Surrender of 553 

Military Appointments 530 

Murfreesboro, Battle of. 555 

Missionary Ridge, Battle of 557 

Neutrality Question, The 544 

Nashville, Federal Occupation of. 549 

Nashville, Battle of _ 560 

Ordinance of Secession, The 520 

Ordnance, The Manufacture of. 541 

Perry ville, Battle of. 554 

Position of the General Assembly 516 

Reserve Corps, The 542 

Rock Castle Hills, Battleof. 544 

Regimental Sketches 561 to 595 

State Sovereignty and Secession 513 

Shiloh, Battle of. 550 

Secession Overwhelmingly Favored 517 

Tennessee Admitted tothe Confederacy 535 

Troops, Call for and Refusal to Furnish 517 


Tennessee Literature 617 

Brownlow 622 

Bright 628 

Brunner 625 

Baskerville 625 

Baldwin 625 

Brown 628 

Chattanooga Press, The 631 


Crockett 623- 

Carr 625 

Cross 629 

Fitzgerald _ 


Geological Authors 


Graves (Joseph C.) 

Graves (Adelia C.) 

Gilchrist .'. 





Knoxville Press, The. 

Lindsley (Phillip) 

Lindsley (J. Berrien) 

Legal Authors 


Memphis Press, The 

McAdoo .': 





Medical Authors 


Nelson 621 

Nashville Pr'ss, The 





Ryan i 






Religious History 638 

Arminianism, The Creed of 648 

Buildings Erected, The first 646 

Baptist Church, The 687 

Church and State, Union of. *40 

Camp-Meeting, The first 650 

Creeds, Formation of the 658 

Cumberland Presbyterian Church, The 658 

Christian Church, The TOO 

Catholic Church, The 704 

Colored Churclies, The 708 

Episcopal Church, The 694 

Irreligion Punished 641 

Jerks, The 651 to C.55 

Jerks, The Cause of the 655 to C"7 

Jewish Church, The 706 

Lutheran Church, The 705 

Methodist Church, The 60:? 

Methodist Church South 076 

Methodist Statistics 676 to 679 

Methodist Book Concern, The 679 

Preaching in Tennessee, The first 645 

Presbyterian Church, The 680 

Revival. The Great 649 to (5.54 

Religious Intolerance 0.39 

Separation of Church and State 644 

Slavery Divides the Church 667 to 676 

University of the South, The 069 


Biographical Chapter 708 

Blount, <jov. William 716 

Bell, Hon. John 733 

Brownlow, Gov. William G 740 

Carroll, Gov. William 719 

Crockett, Col. David 728 

Forrest, Gen. N. B 742 

Grundy, Hon. Felix 7.9 

Haywood, Judge John 714 

Houston, Gov. Sam 724 

Jackson, President Andrew 720 

Job uson. President Andrew 745 

Johnson, Hon. Cave 735 

Polk, President James K 738 

Robertson, Gen. James 712 

Sevier, Gov. John 708 

White, Hon. Hugh L 732 

Zollicoffer, Gen. Felix K 747 




■Giles County 749 

Buildings 754 

Countv Officers 756, 757 

Courts, The 764 to 756 

County, Creation of the 753 

Churches 769 

Geology, Streams, etc 745 

Indian" Reserve, Invasion of the 761 

Military Record. The 767 to 700 

Mills, CottonGins, etc 751, 752 

Productions 749 

Powder-Mills 751 

Public Highways 754 

Settlement 750 

Seat of .Tustice, The 753 

Schools 764 

Towns, Villages, etc 760 to 764 


Lincoln CorsT\' 767 

Act of Creation 770 

Boundary, etc 767 

County Officers 771 

Courts, The 773, 774 

Drainage, Tieology, etc 767 

Education 782, 783 

Industrial Enterprises 769, 770 

Land Grants 767 

Newspapers 779 

Public ISuildings 772 

Religion ; 783, 784 

Settlement 768, 769 

Statistics 772 

Towns, Villages, etc 778 to 782 

War Pvecord 774 to 778 


Feanklin County 785 

County Officers 791 

Courts, The 792 to 794 

County (^reated. The 789 

Churches 803, 804 

Elections 791 

Geology and Temperature 786 

Industries 788, 789 

I^aud lirants 787 

Paupers, The 790 

Settlement 786, 787 

Seat of Justice 790 

Schools 800 to 803 

Topography, etc 785 

Towns, etc ; 796 to 800 

War Matters 794 to 796 



Moore County 804 

Buildings 809 

Courts, The 811, 812 

Churches 818, 819 

Pistilleries 807 

Geology, etc 804, 805 

Industries, The Early 806 

Military Afiairs 812 to 815 

■ Organization of the County .807, 808 

Settlers, etc 805, 806 

Schools 817, 818 

Seat of Justice 809 

Statistics 810 

Towns, etc 815 to 817 

Whipping 807 


Franklin County 820 

Giles County 846 

Lincoln County 876 

Moore County 924 


Aboriginal Map Frontispiece 

Blind Asylum Between 124, 125 

Bell.John " 732, 733 

Blount, William " 716, 717 

Brownlow, W. G " 508, 509 

Chapel, University of the South " 348, 349 

Chickamauga " 656, 557 

Crockett, David " 1.56, 157 

Donelson " 476, 477 

Deaf and Dumb Asylum " 268,269 

Franklin " 588, 589 

Grundy, Felix " 380,381 

Hodgson, Rev. Telfair " 796, 797 

Insane Asylum, West Tennessee " 140, 141 

Insane Asylum, East Tennessee " 92, 93 

Jackson's Eque.<5trian Statue " 284,285 

Jackson, Andrew " 460,461 

Johnson, Andrew " 636,637 

Johnson, Cave " 668, 669 

Murfreesboro " 572, 573 

Missionary Ridge " 492,493 

Nashville " 604, 605 

Normal School " 428, 429 

Polk, James K " 396,397 

Robertson, James " 76, 77 

Shiloh " 540, 541 

State Capitol " 28, 29 

Sevier, John " 220,221 

Thompson's Hall " 316, 3! 

Tennessee University " 444, 4» 

University of the .South " 700,7 

View on Emery River " 44, 

View on Falls Creek " 188, 



Geology of the State— Boundary and Area— Drainage and Mean Eleva- 
tion—General Topographical Features— Natural Geological Divis- 
ions — Classification and Description of Strata — Tennessee Geological 
Periods— Local Details— Varieties of Soil— The Coal Interests- 
Local Stratification — Analysis and Comparison of Coals— Iron De- 
posits AND Varieties— Paleontology— Copper and Galenite— Other 
Metals— The JSIarble Beds — Hygrometry and Temperature— Princi- 
pal Elevations of the State. 

THE southern boundary of the State of Tennessee coincides mainly 
with the thirty-fifth parallel of north latitude, while the northern 
boundary is a broken line lying between the parallels thirty-six degrees 
and twenty-nine minutes and thirty-six degrees and forty-one minutes 
north latitude. The mean breadth is slightly more than 109 miles, and 
the mean length about 385 miles, the general outline forming a long 
-|;rapezoid. The State comprises an area of about 42,000 square miles, 
fhe general elevation above the sea, excepting the leading highest and 
owest localities, is about 900 feet. The entire surface of the State, ex- 
cepting a small tract on the southeast, the waters of which find their 
way into Georgia, is drained by the tributaries of the Ohio and Missis- 
sippi Rivers, the most important being Tennessee, Cumberland, Forked 
Deer, Obion and Hatchie. 

On the eastern boundary of the State, with numerous outliers and 
projections, are the Appalachian Mountains, •j- consisting of high ranges 
more or less parallel, with isolated peaks and domes, all interspersed with 
numerous ravines, creeks and coves, and the entire region presenting the 
most picturesque and romantic scenery of the State. Westward of this 
mountainous system to just beyond the Tennessee River spreads a broad 
^'alley with most distinguishing features. The general surface is uniform, 
but is cut up with numerous long, high ridges extending northeast and 
southwest, surmounted witJi occasional mountainous elevations, ai^d 

♦Adapted to this volume from the report of the State Geologist. 

fNamed by the Spaniards under De Soto, who derived the term from the Indians.— ^?n. Cyc. 



broken here and there l)y gaps, or is dotted with innumerable knobs^ 
often mountainous, all of which are encircled with valleys, linear or curv- 
ing, to correspond with the elevation. The general surface, excluding 
the extremes, is about 900 feet above the level of the sea. The. 'entire 
valley with all its coves and extensions has an area of about 9,200 square 
miles. Westward of this valley lies the Cumberland Table-land, the 
eastern boundary of which is high and almost unbroken from Kentucky 
to Alabama, while the western boundary is very irregular, with less 
elevation and with numerous valley and stream indentations. Though 
the table-land contains many streams and small valleys, it is, in the main, 
of uniform surface, but broken with mountainous ridges and knobs, par- 
ticularly in the northeastern portion. The mean elevation is about 
2,000 feet, and the extent is about 5,100 square miles. West of the 
table-land is the Central Basin, having the general outline of an ellipse, 
with a length (nearly north and south) of about 121 miles, and a width 
of from fifty-five to sixty miles. It comprises about 5,451 square miles, 
and has a mean elevation of from 500 to 600 feet. The surface is knobby 
or billowy, with numerous large and very fertile tracts. Outside of the 
basin, entirely encircling it, is the Highland Rim, an extremely hilly 
portion of the State. It is over 1,000 feet above the sea. The hills on 
each side of the western valley of the Tennessee are from 800 to 1,000 
feet above the sea, while the elevation of the valley at Hamburgh is only 
392 feet. The Mississippi slope of West Tennessee, though in the main 
level, is veined with j^eculiar stream valleys, is about eighty-four miles 
wide, stretches north and south across the State and terminates abruptly 
on the west with the bluff deposits which skirt the valley of the 
Mississippi. The bluffs reach the river at Memphis, at the lower 
part of Tiptoi, County, at Randolph and at Fulton. The mean elevaticm 
is about 450 feet, and the extent about 8,850 square miles. The Missis- 
sippi Valley is low, swampy and level. Reelfoot Lake, lying in this valley, 
was formed during the volcanic convulsions of 1811-12, when Reelfoot 
Creek, which then emptied into the Mississippi, was dammed up and its 
water spread out over a tract of country from three-fourths to three miles 
wide and eighteen miles long, forming the present lake, which finally 
forced an outlet through Obion River. The elevation of the valley is 
about 215 feet at Memphis and 295 feet on the northern boundary of the 

The geological features of Tennessee are so marked and have been 
so minutely and critically examined by competent State authorities, that 
but little if any improvement can be made to what has already been made 
public. The State presents to the geologist eight localities having dis- 


tinct characteristics as follows: 1. The Unaka region. 2, The valley 
of East Tennessee. 3. The Cumberland Table-land. 4 The Highland 
Rim. 5. The Central Basin. 0. The Western Valley of the Tennessee 
Eiver. 7. The Plateau slope of West Tennessee. 8. The Mississippi 
Bottom region. The characteristics of each division will be described 
somewhat in detail, leaving the more minute particulars to the province 
of local history. To prepare the reader for a clearer knowledge of the 
subject, an outline of the science of geology in general is presented. 
For convenience, students of geology have divided the strata of the earth 
into clearly defined groups, having uniform distinctions, to which names 
implying the leading characteristics have been given, as follows: 

1. Archajan Period, Archaean Age, Azoic Time. 

2. Primordial Period, Lower Silurian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

3. Canadian Period, Lower Silurian Age, Paleczic Time. 

4. Trenton Period. Lower Silurian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

5. Niagara Period, Upper Silurian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

6. Salina Period, Upper Silurian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

7. Helderberg Period, Upper Silurian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

8. Oriskany Period, tapper Silurian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

9. Corniferous Period, Devonian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

10. Hamilton Period, Devonian Age, Paleozoic Time 

11. Cliemuug Period, Devonian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

12. Catskill Period, Devonian Age, Paleozoic Time. 

13. Subcarboniferous Period, Carboniferous Age, Paleozoic Time. 

14. Carboniferous Period, Carboniferou.s Age, Paleozoic Time. 

15. Permian Period, Carboniferous Age, Paleozoic Time. 

16. Triassic Period, Reptilian Age, Mesozoic Time. 

17. Jurassic Period, Reptilian Age, Mesozoic Time. 

18. Cretaceous Period, Reptilian Age, Mesozoic Time. * 

19. Lignitic Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

20. Alabama Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

21. Miocene Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

22. Pliocene Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

23. Glacial Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

24. Champlain Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

25. Recent Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

26. Human Period, Mammalian Age, Cenozoic Time. 

Azoic is so called because it is destitute of evidences of the remains 
of animal, and possibly vegetable, life ; Paleozoic because of the appear- 
ance of both animal and vegetable life; Mesozoic because of its situa- 
tion between the earlier and present times, and Cenozoic because of the 
presence of mammals. Of the ages, Silurian represents that when the 
simpler form of both animal and vegetable life appeared; Devonian 
when fishes and kindred animal life and a more advanced vegetable life 
appeared ; Carboniferous when a gigantic vegetation enveloped the earth ; 
Reptilian when the swampy surface of the earth became filled with rep- 
lies, some of gigantic size; Mammalian when animals which suckle their 


young flourished. The latter age comprises human beings. The periods 
are superimposed upon each other in the order given above, the Archfean 
being the lowest and oldest, and the others being formed in succession 
since through the lapse of an indeterminate tliough very long period of 
years. A stratum is a more or less homogeneous layer of earth, the 
term earth being used to designate any portion of what is commonly 
called ground. All strata, whether stone, sand, clay, gravel or other 
inorganic material, were originally rocks, which are either yet in that 
state or have been more or less powdered, mainly by the action of the 
climatic elements, and have become associated with more or less organic 
matter, thus forming tlie numerous varieties of soil. As the fertility of 
soil depends upon its degree of disintegration, the quantity and quality 
of organic and inorganic matter combined, and the extent and character 
of chemical union between the constituents, it becomes a question of 
great value to the husbandman to be able to determine the properties of 
his soil, its strength under certain continued vegetation, the proper time 
for a cliange of crops, for the work of the plow and for the use of 
manures, and many other important particulars. Each period given 
above represents a long, indefinite lapse of time, extending into the tens 
T,nd probably the hundreds of thousands of years, and comprising various 
strata of different kinds of soil, each of which was formed under the 
surface of water or by its action, and has been definitely defined and 

Of the abo-*e periods only thirteen are represented in Tennessee, as 
follows: Primordial.— The metamorphic rocks, the Ocoee slates and 
conglomerates, and the Chilhowee sandstone. Canadian. — The Knox 
group of magnesian limestones and shales, and the Lenoir limestone. 
Trenton. — The Lebanon and Nashville limestones. Niagara. — Clinch 
Mountain sandstone, the Dyestone or Red Iron ore formation, and the 
Clifton limestones. Helderberg. — The Linden limestone, Hamilton. — 
The Black Shale. Subcarboniferous. — The Barren Group, the St. Louis 
limestone and the Mountain limestone. Coal Measures. — The coal form 
ation. Cretaceous. — The Coffee sand, the Rotten limestone, and thu 
Ripley Group. Lignitic. — The Flatwood clays and sands, and the La 
Grange sand. Glacial. — The Orange sand. Champlain. — The Bluff 
Loam. Recent. — Alluvium. 

The Primordial Period includes the Metamorphic rocks, the Ocoei? 
slates and conglomerates, and the Chilhowee sandstones. These arti 
very thick and massive formations, and embrace tlie rocks of the great 
ITnaka range. Their strata are hard and pre-eminently mountain-mak- 
ing, a' d are not found outside of the Unaka mountain area. The* 


lands can never l)e brought into successful cultivation on account of 
the ruggedness of the country. Magnetic iron ore, copper ore, roof- 
ing slate, building material, and some gold are found in these forma- 
tions. The metamorphic formation is composed of thick and thin-bed- 
ded granite-like rocks called gneiss, talcose slate and mica slate, the 
constituents of which are quartz, mica, feldspar, talc and similar minerals. 
They were originally common sandstones, conglomerates, shales, etc., 
which have lost their original character and have become crystalized 
through the agency of heat or other means. The soils of this locality 
are generally thin and poor, with here and there a spot of singular fertil- 
ity. Wild grasses grow fairly well, and fine walnut, cherry, poplar, beech 
and oak abound. Buckwheat grows luxuriantly in a few spots. The cop- 
per mines of Polk County and the magnetic iron ore of Carter County are 
in this formation. The Ocoee group is a series of changeable rocks 
having an estimated thickness of 10,000 feet, and composing the greater 
part of the Unakas. There are heavy beds of conglomerates, sandstonei; 
clay slates, semi-talcose and roofing slates, and dolomite or magnesian 
limestone. Occasional veins of quartz are gold-bearing. The beds of 
roofing slates are especially valuable. The soil is similar to that of the 
metamorphic formation. The Chilhowee sandstone has an estimated 
maximum thickness of not less than 2,000 feet, and extends to Chilhowee 
and similar mountains which form the most northwesterly interrupted 
range of the Unakas. The stone is usually heavy-bedded and gravish 
white when weathered, but is sometimes whitish quartose and sometimes 
includes sandy shales. 

The Canadian Period includes the Knox group of magnesian lime- 
stones and shales and the Lenoir limestone. The Knox sandstone of this 
period forms ridges which present a sort of transition between the moun- 
tain and valley formations. It comprises variegated sandstones, shales 
and occasional dolomites, having an aggregate thickness of 800 to 1,000 
feet. The formation is of little agricultural importance, but presents 
marked topographical features, such as sharp roof-like or comby ridges. 
WebVs, Rosebury's, Bay Mountain, Beaver, Bull Run and Pine Ridges 
are of this formation. The Knox shale is a brown, reddish, buff or o-reen 
calcareous shale 2,000 or more feet thick. Occasionally it contains thi- 
layers of oolitic limestone, and as it approaches the Unakas becomes m 
calcareous, even to a slaty limestone or dolomite. Upon this for 
of the Knox group are the principal valleys, especially in the 
ern, western and southern portions of the valley of East T 
contains many long, beautiful and generally rich valle- 
and trilobites, about the oldest specimens of animal 1 * 


see, occur in the limestone layers of this group. The entire valley of 
East Tennessee was, doubtless, once much higher than at present, but 
has been denuded by the action of water principally, leaving the strata 
in variable inclijiations. TJie Knox dolomite outcrops over a large por- 
tion of East Tennessee Valley, and is the most massive formation in the 
otate. It is estimated to be nearly a mile in thickness, and consists of 
heavy -bedded strata of blue and gray limestones and dolomites, being 
often oolitic at the base and crystaline or sparry above, with more or less 
chert or flint occurring sparsely in thin layers and nodules. It is com- 
posed of the carbonates of lime and magnesia containing more or less 
sand, argillaceous and ferruginous matter, with fossils in the lower oolitic 
strata ; and its outcrops are confined to this valley, with the single excep- 
tion of an exposure in the curious Well's Creek Basin, in Houston 
Oounty. In several places in the Central Basin it is not far from the 
surface. Generally the disintegration of the dolomite furnishes rich 
plant food, and nearly all grains grow well in the better localities. 

The Trenton Period, comprising the Lebanon and Nashville lime- 
stones, is, in general, a great series of l)lue limestone, rich in fossils and 
plant food. They are the principal rocks of the Central Basin, lying ap- 
proximately in a horizontal position, and constitute the surface rocks of 
many long valley-ranges of East Tennessee, of which the soils are dis- 
tinguished for their fertility and the ranges for their symmetry and 

ieaut}'. They are also uncovered in the western valley of the Tennessee. 
Jnder denuding and eroding agencies these rocks present the richest 
valley and lowland depressions. The maximum thickness of the period 
in East Tennessee is between 2,500 and 3,000 feet. It has two mem- 
bers — the lower blue limestone on both sides of the valley and the upper 
calcareous though sandy stone in the southeast half of the valley. The 
lower member varies in thickness from 200 to GOO feet. Further north 
11 is thin and poor. It is more or less argillaceous, and with the Knox 
dolomite forms many rich valleys. It often dips at right angles. The 
upper member is. in the southeast, a great mass of sky-blue calcareous 
shale more or less sandy. It often contains thin layers of limestone and 
sandstone and has a maximum thickness of about 2,000 feet. The two 

rreat belts where this stone outcrops, called the Gray Knobs and the 

\ Knobs, present distinguishing and important characteristics. In 

''ct of the Gray Knobs bold, pointed and steep hills, with vales of 

"'<Xth and fertility winding among them, stand crowded together. 

-^e is due to the different erosive effects of water agen- 

^f varying and widely opposite degrees of hardness, the 

1 or worn away and the harder slowly left high and 


certain, and on this soil are many of the best farms of the State. The 
soil of the Central Basin is more fertile, but, as the underlying limestone 
is nearer the surface, is more easily affected by drouth, so that, in the end 
it is not more productive than the Lower Carboniferous soil. The latter 
will not admit of tramping, owing to the clay it contains ; while the Nash- 
ville soil does better with packing, owing to its porous state caused by 
the presence of considerable sand. Blue-grass does not thrive so well 
on the clayey soil. The largest orchards of the State are grown on the 
Lower Carbniferous soil, though many other portions are as valuable in 
this respect. The second soil of the Lower Carboniferous Period, on the 
slopes of the tableland, contains less chert, but is highly productive. It 
is not so red, resembling more the alluvial bottoms, and contains less 
clay and more sand than the first soil of this period, and is, therefi. 
mor.> fertile though less durable than the Nashville soil. Heavy for 
cover its principal tracts in Overton, White, AVarren and Fentress CoUa-, 
ties. The green sand soil is a siliceous loam, resting upon mixed san 
and clay, containing carbonate of lime and numerous green pebbles o 
glauconite. Lime is obtained from the numerous shell heaps contained. 
This constituent renders the soil much more fertile, friable and produc- 
tive. Cotton and corn, and often wheat, grow well. The green sand 
giving name to this* group, contains gypsum, soluble silica, oxide of iron 
and carbonate of lime, all fertile ingredients, and may, in the end, as the 
deposit is eight miles wide and fifty miles long and quite thick, be used 
extensively as a fertilizer. 

The shaly soils of the State are usually cold, clayey, unimportant and 
unproductive except for grasses. The alluvial soils, in the aggregate, 
occupy a larger area than any other. Nine hundred square miles lie in 
one body in the valley of the Mississippi, and to this must be added the 
immense aggregate of all the creek and river bottoms of the State, a vast 
though indeterminate expanse. The alluvial soils differ much in charac- 
ter, some containing much lime, some miicli sand, some a noticeable lack 
of both, depending on the constituents of the surrounding highlands 
from which the rich washings come. These alluvial soils are the richest, 
most durable and productive of the State— most durable because of the 
constant renewal of their fertile elements drained from the adjacent hills. 
They are especially adapted for wheat — forty bushels not infrequently being 
raised upon one acre. A sandy soil is usually warm, a clayey one cold ; some 
are light, heavy, loamy, marly, leachy, limy, sour, sweet, marshy, com- 
pact, tenacious, porous, fine, coarse, gravelly or rocky, and their product- 
iveness not only depends upon the fertile elements such as soluble silica, 
lime, carbon, potash, magnesia, oxide of iron and their compounds and 


other fertile matter such as nitrogen, ammonia, carbonic acid, sulphuric 
acid, etc., but upon climatic and other allied conditions, such as heat, 
cold, drouths, drainage, rains, subsoils, manures, pulverization, etc. 
The best condition of a soil for production is a thorough pulverization, 
with a subsoil of sufficient tenacity to hold fertilizers and moisture, and 
yet well drained of its surplus waters. The decomposing vegetable mat- 
ter called humus, gives wonderful richness to the soil and furnishes car- 
bonic acid, nitrogen and ammonia, the life-blood of plants. 

The sandy soils are found mainly in West Tennessee. They contain 
a greater or less quantity of iron compounds, clay and calcareous mat- 
ter, which, in some localities, give them great vigor, but where these ele- 
mets are lacking leave them comparatively sterile. Level lands, or those 

)roximately so, if well drained, do best, as they are not washed of their 

it food elements so readily. The soil of the Orange sand is the most 

iportant, and is spread over the greater portion of West Tennessee. The 

)ils of the Eipley and Flatwood groups embrace some fine farming land. 

,nd some too much broken into hills and ridges to be convenient to work. 

In some localities the Flatwood group contains layers of laminated clay. 

which furnish a stiff soil. The sandy soils, if properly fertilized and 

cared for, repay the husbandman with a fair harvest. 

The bluff loam, or loess, covering all other formations in the belt of 
high lands extending from the Kentucky line to Memphis, is a fine cal- 
careo-siliceous earth, often ash colored, sometimes reddish or chocolate 
colored, and occasionally black. It contains more calcareous matter than 
the others, except the green sand. Carbonate of lime is sometimes found 
in concretions in heaps. This soil is among the best in the State, owing 
its valuable qualities to the lime, sand, iron, clay, etc., it contains, and 
to the excellent pulverulent qualities it possesses. Tobacco, cotton, 
wheat, oats, clover, and the grasses grow luxuriantly, while the forests are 
very extensive and some of the trees of enormous size. 

The siliceous or flinty soils are found in greatest abundance over the 
counties of Lawrence, Wayne, Lewis, Stewart, Montgomery, DeKalb. 
Cannon, Coffee, Mpore, Hickman, Humphreys, Dickson and Franklin, 
and are thin and poor. They have a bluish, or pale yellow subsoil so 
porous til at manures are lost after a few years. The natural vegetation 
of all kinds is scrubby and coarse, though a rank grass which grows in 
open woods supplies large herds of stock. Fruit trees do well. These 
are the "barrens," which are destitute of calcareous matter and have a 
porous subsoil and a leachy surface soil. Similar lands containing lime 
and iron and having a tenacious red subsoil a1ce much better. 

The soils of the Unaka region are generally thin and unproductive. 


though wild grasses grow well, and here and there a spot of surprising 
fertility appears. The mountain slopes are often covered with heavy tim- 
ber. The soil of the Chilhowee sandstone occupies mountainous locations 
is limited in extent, but in small spots furnishes gardens and vegetable 
fields. Blue-grass may be grown on this soil. The soil of the Clinch 
Mountain sandstone is thin, but potatoes and other vegetables, and grass 
and timber do well. The Dyestone and White Oak Mountain soils are 
good, though limited in area. The soil of the Cun.berland Table-land, 
which covers over 5,000 square miles of the State, is sandy and thin, 
though there are areas of moderate fertility at the foot of knobs and 
ridges, where fertile washings from the slopes are gathered. All the val- 
leys are fertile, and accordingly productive. No lime appears, all being 
sand, and compost soon sinks below plant roots. The yellowish red subsoil, 
with a thin coating of humus, is more valuable than that with less iron 
and little or no humus. The former, with care and proper composts, may 
be made highly productive ; not so the latter, which is too porous and 
tender, and, when uncultivated, produces nothing but shrubby trees; hardy, 
coarse weeds and grass, lichens and mosses. The glades and wet lands 
along the streams may be made valuable by drainage and by the use of 
alkalies to neutralize the abundant acid liberated by the decomposition of 
a superabundance of vegetable remains. 

The Coals. — The area of the coal-bearing strata amounts to 5,100 
square miles, and over this vast extent of country from one to sixteen 
seams occur. The coal fields include the counties of Scott, Morgan and 
Cumberland, the greater portions of Pickett, Fentress, Van Buren, Bled- 
soe, Grundy, Sequatchie and Marion; considerable portions of Claiborne, 
Campbell, Anderson, Rhea, Roane, Overton, Hamilton, Putnam, White 
and Franklin, and small portions of Warren and Coffee. About 1,000 
square miles of the northeastern portion of this tract consists of a series 
of short irregular mountain chains, breaking away from the main Cum- 
berland Mountain ridge, and casting heavenward numerous j^eaks of 
great height. The remainder of the coal tract, except certain portions 
in the southern part, is the true Cumberland Table-land or plateau. The 
upper coal measures embrace one or two principal sandstones (one of 
which may be a conglomerate) and an equal number of coal horizons in 
which one or more beds of coal may be expected. These and their ac- 
companying strata compose the upper plateau, and have a thickness of 
from 200 to 300 feet, but are not typical of the tract of 1,000 square 
miles, to which reference was made above. The conglomerate sandstone, 
upon which the upper coal measures rest, usually contains numerous 
small white quartz pebbles, and is sometimes a double seam, embracing 


an important coal horizon. The lower coal measures consist of a series 
of sandstones and shales with from one to three or four coal veins, and 
constitute the most important division of the carboniferous period in the 
.■r'tate and over a considerable area the only one available as a source of 
coal. Excluding the ClifP rock the thickness of this division ranges from 
a few feet to 300. These characteristics are, in general, typical only of * 
the southern, western and northwestern portions of the table-land, as the 
northeastern portion and a strip along the eastern side, in the counties of 
Claiborne, Scott, Campbell, Anderson and Morgan, have a thickness of 
the upper coal measures, in some places of over 2,000 feet. The coal meas- 
ures above the conglomerate have been much denuded, particularly on 
the western side of the table-land, and at points where the formations are 
iLluch elevated, the reverse being true where the elevations are low. 
Where the coal measures are thickest the conglomerate is depressed and 
the waste by denudation is measurably compensated by the superior de- 
velopment, at many points, of the lower coal measures. 

In i;he Sewanee District, embracing parts of the counties of Franklin, 
Marion, Sequatchie, Grundy, Warren, Bledsoe and Yan Buren, the coal 
measures are approximately horizontal. The following section, the low- 
est strata of which are taken from the gulf of Little Gizzard Creek, about 
two miles south of Tracy City,^ and the higher in succession in ascending 
the stream to the plateau or top of the conglomerate, exhibits well the 
sreneral character of the formations of the coal measures in the Sewanee 
District : 


Sandstone, the conglomerate or cap rock of the upper plateau and 

the uppermost stratum in this region 50 

Coal (a few inches) 

Shale 33 

Coal, outcrop i 

Shale, dark and clayey ^ 1 

Shale, sandy 25 

Sandstone 86 

Shale, more or less sandy 45 

Coal, main Sewanee seam 3 to 7 

Shale, some of it sandy 33 

Coal, outcrop 1 

Shale 3 

Sandstone 17 

Conglomerate 70 



Coal, outcrop i to 1 

Shale, overlaid with clay 10 

Sandstone, clifE rock 65 



Coal, outcrop i to 1| 

Shale, with clay at top 8 

Sandy shale 23 

Sandstone, hard 78 

Coal, with occasional shale 1 to 3 

Sandstone, hard, local 20 

Shale, iucludini^ a thin sandstone 20 

Mountain limestone with archimedes 20 

Below the conglomerate, in the eastern and southeastern part of the 
Sewanee District, there are usually four seams of coal. In Franklin 
County and in the southern part of Grundy one seam disappears. In the 
northern part of Grundy and in Warren another seam is missing, and the 
thickness of the lower coal measure is reduced from 360 to fifty feet, ex- 
clusive of the conglomerate. The coal beds are very irregular in thick- 
ness, being often too thin to work profitably and in some places from 
three to nine feet thick. The aggregate amount of coal is very great 
and the quality good, and the extent coincides with the Sewanee Dis- 
trict. The conglomerate is the cover and protector of the lower coal 
measures, having saved them from denudation in past ages. The 
Tracy City coals belong to the upper coal measures ; those of Little Fierv 
Gizzard to the lower measures. On Crow, Battle and Little Sequatchie 
Creeks are important outcrops of the lower coals. On Cave Creek in 
Marion County, under the Cliff rock, a coal seam nine feet thick outcrops 
and near in the "pocket" is five feet thick. At the old Parmelee Bank 
it is from seven to nine feet thick. North of Tracy City only two coa' 
seams of the lower measures are usually found ; those near McMinnville 
are thin. In Bledsoe, Van Buren, Warren and Grundy they are thin with 
occasional thicker spots. The conglomerate is mainly the surface rock 
ti-om Tracy City to Alabama, and over this expanse only occasional knolls 
of the upper coal measures occur : one two miles west of Tracy City, an- 
other about half way between Tracy City and the Nashville & Chattanooga 
tunnel, and another just south of the lower mines. 

Southeast, east and northeast of Tracy City the ridges of the upper 
measures often appear. The main Sewanee coal in the vicinity of Tracy 
City is of good quality, semi-bituminous, and contains little pyrites. It 
is fragile pnd is usually a four or five foot bed, and is the most reliable 
one west of the Sequatchie Yalley. Other seams of the upper measures 
are found in the Sewanee District, but are not so valuable. 

The Eaccoon and Walden's Kidge District embraces the portion of the 
table-land east of Sequatchie Valley and the Crab Orchard Mountains, and 
extends from Alabama to the Emery Eiver in Morgan County, compris- 
ing parts of Marion, Sequatchie, Hamilton, Bledsoe, Ehea, Cumberland, 



Roane and Morgan. At the Etna Mines and vicinity the Cliff rock be- 
/^omes a conglomerate, and the conglomerate (the cap of the lower meas- 
ures) becomes a sandstone. The following is the section at Etna 
Mines : 



Sandstone, cap rock at Etna 75 

Shale 48 

Coal, good block and uniform 4 

Shale with occasional thin coal 30 to 40 

Coal with slate or shale 5 to 6 

Shale ' 44 

Coal, good block 2 to 3 

Fire clay 1 to 2 

Sandstone (Conglomerate of last table) 75 

Coal (few inches) 

Shale 30 to 40 

Coal (10 inches) 

Sandy shale 100 to 130 

Conglomerate (the cliff rock of the former table where it is 

classed with the lower coal measures) 70 to 100 



Shale Oto 12 

Coal (main Etna or Cliff vein, most important bed in the 

Raccoon Mountains) average .' 3 

Fire clay with Stigmaria 1 to 3 

Shale 5 to 20 

Coal, thin i to 1 

Sandstone and sandy shale ~. 80 to 120 

Shale (?) Oto 5 

Coal ito3 

Fire clay to 2 

Sandy shale and sandstone 20 to 25 

Shale 15 to 20 

Coal Hto3 

Fire clay to 3 

Shales and shaly sandstones i. .80 to 150 

Mountain limestone not ascertained 

The above section is a typical exhibit of the measures of the Raccoon 
Mountain District. The upper measures are rich in coal, and it will be 
observed by comparison that there is one more coal seam in the lower 
measures than on the west slope of Sequatchie Valley, and the volume is 
much greater. The lower measures are well exhibited where me Ten- 
nessee River cuts through the AValden Range and are similar to the Etna 
measures. The four coals below the cliff rock outcrop on the slopes. 
Northward to the Emery River the sections above of the Sevvanee and 
Raccoon Districts may be taken a^ types of both the upper and lower 
measures. The main Sewanee is the principal coal, and numerous out- 
crops of the upper and lower measures occur on the eastern slope of the 


table-land. The strata are often much disturbed, doubtless by volcanic 
forces. The following is the section where the Crossville & Kingston 
Road crosses Crab Orchard Range in Cumberland County : 



Sandstone, probably 100 

Shale, doubtless with coal 25 to 50 

Sandstone 100 to 150 

Shale, probably with coal 60 

Sandstone 60 

Shale ' 50 

Coal, main Sewanee 4 

Fire clay 1 

Shale 30 to 40 

Conglomerate, caps the mountains 100 to 150 



Shale, possibly with coal 15 

Sandstone ... 33 

Shale with light coal seams 110 

Sandstone 50 

Shale, with impure coal 20 

Mountain limestone not ascertained 

In this table the thicknesses are only approximately correct. Here 
the strata of the coal measures are folded in a great arch, and are missing 
at the summit, having been denuded by natural agencies. 

The northern coal district is made to embrace that part of the table- 
land lying north of Van Buren and Bledsoe Counties and west of the 
Crab Orchard range, and a line running through Montgomery and 
Huntsville, and within its limits are parts of White, Cumberland, Mor- 
gan, Putnam, Overton, Fentress, Pickett and Scott Counties. Here the 
top of the table-land is usually a flat surface, and back from the slopes 
appears an upper plateau. In the eastern portion of this area the Crab 
Orchard section above may be considered the type. On Clifty Creek in 
White County the following is the section: 



Sandstone and conglomerate 65 

Shale to 13 

Coal, irregular i to 2 

Fire clay to 2 

Shale with sandy strata 60 

Fire clay with coal traces. (11 inches) 

Sandstone ..40 

Shale 20 

Fire clay with coal traces (11 inches) 

Sandy shale or sandstone 25 



Shale 53 

Coal 3 

Shale ....25 

Conglomerate 60 



Shale with one or two seams of coal to 18 inches, in all 15 

Mountain limestone 40 

Calcareous shale not ascertained 

At other points in White County the lower measures are of greater 
importance. Generally the lower measures on the western slope of the 
table-land from Alabama to Kentucky present the same features, com- 
prising usually two, sometimes three to seven seams, often too thin for 
mining, but locally available and valuable. The measures under the con- 
glomerate in this portion of the table-land are similar to those on the 
western slope of the Sewanee District. In fact the measures are similar 
throughout the extent of the western slope and consist of shales and sand- 
stones and two, sometimes three, rarely more, seams of coal. Though 
often too thin for mining, they become thicker and valuable locally. In 
the valley of the Calfkiller, in Putnam County, the coals below the con- 
glomerate are often valuable and the general features in the counties of 
Putnam, Overton, Pickett, Fentress, Morgan and Scott are the same as 
above. Little extensive mining has been done in this part of the district, 
owing mainly to the lack of transportation. The following section from 
the mouth of Big Hurricane C:"eek, in Fentress County, is typical of the 
coal measures of the northern counties, 



Conglomerate (overhanging cliffs) 40 

Shale, doubtless with coal 51 

Sandstone 6 

Shale, doubtless with coal 21 

Sandstone 46 

Shale, doubtless with coal 50 

Conglomerate (lower cliffs, main) 90 



Coal, good block to 3 

Fire clay, shale and sandstone 4 

Shale with laj'crs of clay ironstones 25 to 30 

Mountain limestone 15 

Shales, marly and variegated 100 

The main conglomerate has always a coal horizon below^, consisting of 

shales and sandstones, and, when the cap rock of the upper plateaus is 

present, has one above. Outcrops of the lower measures at Buffalo Cave, 


Feutress County and near Jamestown show the coal below the conglomer- 
ate to be three to five feet thick, black, lustrous and excellent. Outcrops 
of the upper coals are not as numerous as of those below the main con- 
glomerate. Numerous banks of these coals have been opened, one at 
Little Laurel, Overton County, being four and a half feet thick and excel- 

The northeaster!, district, embracing parts of the counties of Morgan, 
Anderson, Scott, Campbell and Claiborne, is traversed by numerous high 
ridges or mountains, in which are heavy developments of the coal depos- 
its, particularly the upper; and shales, coals and sandstones are piled 
up high above the conglomerate, which, elsewhere, is the surface rock. 
The carboniferous formation here is not far from 2,500 feet, and nowhere 
else in the State are there so many coal beds or such an aggregate mass 
of coal. The following is an estimated section at Cross Mountain, four 
miles northwest of Jacksborough. 



Sandstone, cap of the mountains 100 

Shales and sandstones 249 

Coal, pure block, except a six-inch seam of black shale 6 

Shales and sandstones 357 

I Coal, excellent, possibly 6 feet 4 

Shale and sandstones 150 to 190 

Coal, outcrop 1 

Fire claj', shale and sandstones 262 to 323 

Coal, outcrop 1 

Shale 6 

Coal, outcrop, may be 6 feet 3 

Shales and sandstones 323 to 398 

Coal outcrop with shale three inches 3 

Shales and sandstones 260 to 290 

Coal '. 3 

Shales, slate and sandstones 170 

Coal, outcrop 1 

Fire clay and shale 9 

Coal with three-inch parting 5 

Fire clay, shale, black slate with Stigmaria, to foot of mountain 30 

The entire thickness of this section is about 2,100 feet, and an ag- 
gregate thickness of twenty-seven feet of coal is found. A section at 
Tellico Mountain shows about the same aggregate quantity of coal, 
several seams of which, with the conglomerate, appear in the upper part 
of Pine Mountain, caused by a fault in the strata. The Cross Moun- 
tain section above is typical of the measures of this district. Numerous 
banks have been opened, all presenting, in general, similar characteristics. 
Scores of banks could be profitably opened on Emery River. The coal 
of this division is usually very good block and is practicably inexhaust- 


ible. When railroads reach these valuable fields, future geuerations will 
receive the benefit. The coal of the Etna Mines contains 74.2 per cent 
of fixed carbon and 21.1 of volatile matter.* The Sewanee coal gives 62 
per cent of fixed carbon and 25.41 of volatile matter. The present pro- 
duction of coke is very great. 

Iron Ore. — The deposits of iron ore are of the greatest value. The 
outcrops where such deposits occur appear in three belts which have been 
named and described as folloAvs: The eastern iron region which extends 
through the State with and in front of the Unaka Raugfe; the Dye- 
stone region, which skirts the eastern base of Cumberland Table-land 
or Walden's Ridge from Virginia to Georgia, and extends laterally into 
the valley of East Tennessee from ten to twenty miles, and includes the 
Sequatchie and Elk Valleys; the western iron region, which occupies 
a belt of high lands contiguous to the western valley and a part of the 
valley itself, and extends from Kentucky to Alabama. 

The eastern region includes the counties of Johnson, Carter, Sul- 
livan, Washington, Greene, Cocke, Sevier, Bh^unt, Monroe, Polk and the 
entire eastern part of McMinu. In the valleys and coves of this vast 
region occur most of the iron ore deposits. The bottoms of the valleys 
are usually occupied by shales and slates and magnesian limestone of the 
Knox group, which have been so leached and weathered that ridges and 
knolls of clay, sand, chert and shaly debris or clay have been formed, and 
in these masses the iron ore has accumulated. Limonite, by far the most 
abundant ore of this region, contains, when pure, 59.92 per cent of 
metallic iron; 25.68 per cent of oxygen and 14.4 per cent of water. The 
source of limonite is the ferruginous chert of the lithostrotion bed. 
Practically the percentage of iron is less than 59.92 per cent owing to 
impurity. This ore occurs both as honey-comb and solid ore and some- 
times in ochi-eous and earthy combinations. It occurs in all sizes less 
than beds ten or fifteen feet in diameter. Generally the most important 
banks are on knolls, hills or ridges fifty to 200 feet high and often several 
miles long, and the deposits occur at intervals. The ores in Johnson, 
Carter and W^ashington Counties contain lead and zinc. These ores, in- 
cluding the iron, originated doubtless from the decomposed limestones 
which contain these elements. The iron ore is of excellent quality and 
the beds are so numerous that it is estimated that there is sufficient ore 
to supply an average of three or four extensive works to each of the 
counties named for a long period of years. Hematite contains 70 per 
cent of iron and 30 per cent of oxygen. Impurities reduce the amount 
of iron. The hard, solid ore of this division occurs only in a few places 

♦Analysis by Prof. Pohle, of New York City. 


and in a regular, solid bed. The ore in more or less magnetic and ex- 
cellent. The Dyestone ore is a stratified fossiliferous iron rock and is 
composed of flattened oiHitic or rounded grains and frequently contains 
crinoidal buttons. Magnetite, -when pure, contains 72.4 per cent of iron 
and and 27.6 of oxygen. It is a very rare ore, one bed being in Cocke 
and another in Carter County. It is associated with Saliliie and decom- 
posing gneissoid rocks and occurs in irregular layers, patches and wedge- 
shaped masses in the metamorphic group. 

On the west side of the valley of East Tennessee is the Dyestone iron 
region, which includes a portion or all of the following counties: Han- 
cock, Claiborne, Grainger, Campbell, Anderson, Roane, Rhea, Meigs, 
Hamilton, Marion, Sequatchie and Bledsoe. The ore is a distinctly strati- 
fied red iron stone, a variety of hematite, generally soils the fingers, but 
is sometimes quarried in blocks. It is highly fossiliferous and upon ex- 
posure becomes brownish red, though almost scarlet when first mined. 
This is the main ore of this region and its impurities are sandy and ar- 
gillaceous matters and carbonate of lime. Numerous banks have been 
opened. Limonite to a limited extent is found in this region. The 
mountain ridge containing the Dyestone ore is 150 miles long and its 
average thickness is over 20 inches. Upon the Cumberland Table-land 
occur a few beds of clay ironstones. This ore is an impure carbonate of 
iron and contains 41.25 percent of metallic iron, 11.78 of oxygen, 35.17 
carbonic acid and 11.8 of water, etc. Practically 30 to 33 per cent of 
iron is obtained. It occurs in nodules and balls and is limited in quan- 
tity. Black band ironstone and limonite are also found scattered over 
the table-land. 

The western iron region includes part *)r all of the following coun- 
ties: Lawrence, Wayne, Hardin, Lewis, Perry, Decatur, Hickman, 
Humphreys, Benton, Dickson, Montgomery and Stewart. The belt is 
about fifty miles wide and over the entire extent more or less ore occurs. 
There appear centers where heavy deposits of great value and extent are 
found. These banks have a high position on the tops or edges of plateau 
ridges, and owe their origin very probably to the remains of decomposed 
sandstones before the Central Basin or the valley of West Tennessee was 
excavated. The banks are from a few feet to 100 feet. Limonite is al- 
most the only ore, though hematite occurs near Clifton, in Wayne County. 
Limonite occurs in irregular lumps or hollow concretions called "pots" 
scattered through the matrix of the debris of the strata of the siliceous 
group, consisting of angular fragments of half decomposed and often 
bleached chert and soft sandstones imbedded in clay. This is the bed of 
the ore. The varieties of this ore are called compact, honey-comb, pot 


and pipe ores and oclier, the first tliree being common. The pots vary in 
size from an orange to tAvo feet in diameter. Pipe ore is worked in Stew- 
art County. It is estimated that the best banks furnish one-fourth to 
one-third of the mass removed in iron ore. Its occurrence in banks is 
irregular — sometimes in pockets, beds, veins, strata, columns, or isolated 
masses often ten to twenty feet through. Some masses furnish scores of 
tons of ore. The beds of Hickman are most extensive and A'aluable and 
more than twenty banks have been opened. Those of Dickson and Stew- 
art are next valuable. On the eastern rim of the basin in the counties 
of "White, Warren, Putnam and Overton, corresponding with the deposits 
of the western belt, limonite of good quality is found. The percentage 
of pure iron varies from 44: to about 60. 

i^oss//.s.— The paleontological features are characteristic and import- 
ant. Every formation considered in this chapter, except the Unaka, 
contains fossils, often large, finely preserved and beautiful. As every 
formation contains, in the main, its own fossils, they become an import- 
ant factor in identifying the strata. The most fruitful source of fossils 
in this State are the Trenton and Nashville groups. The following is a 
list of the genera: Buthotrephis, Stromatopora, Stenopora, Constellaria, 
Tetradium, Columnaria, Petraia, Cleiocrinus, Dendocrinus, Glyptocrinus, 
Palseocrinus, Petraster, Ptilodictia, Ketepora, Graptolithus, Liei^tsena, 
Strophomena, Orthis, Skenidium, Ehynchonella, Triplesia, Avicula, Am- 
bonychia, Crytodonta, Ctenodonta, Modiololopsis, Holopea, Cyclonema, 
Subulites, Eunema, Helicotoma, Maclurea, Trochonema, Pleurotomaria, 
Murchisonia, Crytolites, Bellerophon, Carinaropsis, Clioderma, Conularia, 
Salterella, Orthoceras, Cyrtoceras, Lituites, Trocholites, Asaphus, Caly- 
mene, Cheirurus, Encrinurus, Illaenus, Liclias, Phacops, Dalmanites and 
Leperditia. Many of these are represented by a half dozen or more 
species. In the Niagara group occur the following genera: Astylo- 
spongia, Pahieomanon, Artrteospongia, Stenopora, Thecoistegites, Thecia, 
Heliolites, Plasmopora, Halysites, Favosites, Cyathophyllum, Petraia, 
Aulopora, Alveolites, Cladopora, Fenestella, Caryocrinus, Apiocystites, 
Pentatrematites, Saccocrinus, Platycrinus, Lampterocrinus, Cytocriniis, 
Eucatyptocrinus, Coccocrinus, Synbathocrinus, Posteriocrinus, Gysto- 
crinus, Haplocrinus, Calceola, Strophomena, Streptorhynchus, Orthis, 
Spirifer, Atrypa, Pentamerus, Athyris, Ehynchonella, Platyostoma, Platy- 
ceras, Cyclonema, Orthoceras, Ceraurus, Sphterexochus, Dal mania, Caly- 
mene and Bumastus. In the Lower Helderberfj formation the followincr 
are found: Anisophyllum, Favosites, Apiocystites, Leptaena, Stropho- 
mena, Strophodonta, Orthis, Spirifer, Trematospira, Nucleospira, lihynch- 
ospira, Leptocoelia, Pvhynchonella, Atrypa, Merista, Camarium, Eatonia,, 


Pentamerus, Platyostoma, Platyceras, Phacops, Dolmauia and Dalmania. 
Ill the Lower Carboniferous formation are found the following genera: 
Spirifer, Orthis, Platyceras, Granatocrinus, Agaricocrinus, Actinocrinus, 
Cyathocrinus, Icthiocrinus, Lithostrotion, Zaphrentis, Pentremites, Dic- 
cliorinus, Melonites, Hemipronites, Retzia, Rhynchonella, Productus, 
Conularia, Astrasa, Archimedes, Atliyris, Terebratula, Aspidodus, Clay- 
dodus and a few others. The Green Sand of West Tennessee, famous 
for its beds of fossil shells, contains the following genera so far noticed 
and named: Platytroehus, Corbula, Crassatella, Astarte, Yenilia, Car- 
dium, Trigonia, Area, Nucula, Cucullcea, Ctenoides, Pacten, Neithea, 
Ostrea, Oxogyra, Graphs, Anomia, Placunanomia, Scalaria, Natica, 
Volutilithes, Rapa, Auchura, Baculites, Enchodus, Sphymena, Ischyrhiza, 
Teredo, Serpula, Rostellaria, Fusus, Turritella and Delphinula. In the 
Ripley group are the following : Corbula, Venus, Crassatella, Cardita, 
Leda, Modiola, Ostrea, Gryplioea, Turritella, Natica, Fasciolaria, Nep- 
tunea, Callianassa, Lamna and crocodilus. In the Bluff loam of West 
Tennessee are Helix, Planorbis, Cyclas, Amnicola, Lymnea, Succinea. 
In the Knox group are Crepiceplialus. Lonchocephalus, Agnostus, Ling- 
ula and Pleurotomaria. 

The fossil fauna of Tennessee are distinct and characteristic of the 
strata containing them. In the main Sewanee and Jackson coal horizon 
occur the following: Neuropteris, Hymenophyllites, Alethopteris, Aster- 
ophyllites, Calamities, Stigmaria, Sigillaiia, Syrigodendron, Lepidoden- 
dron, Lepidostrobus, Trigonocarpum and Rhabdocarpus, and in the main 
Etna Sphenopteris, Hymenophyllites and Lepidodendron, and at the 
base of the coal measures on the Sewanee Railroad the fossil nut: 
Trigonocarpon. Wood and leaves are found in the Ripley group in 
West Tennessee. In the Orange sand appear the following genera: 
Quercus, Laurus, Prunus, Andromeda, Sapotacites, Eljeagnus, Salix, Jug- 
laus, Fagus and Ceanothus. On the west side have been found bones of 
the extinct Mastodon, Megalonyx, Castor and Castoroides. 

Meiols. — Copper ore is found at Ducktown. The siirface of the coun- 
try is rolling, and is about 2,000 feet above the sea. Ocoee River crosses 
this area. The rocks are talcose, chlorite and mica slates, and dip at 
high angles to the southeast. The ore deposits are great lenticular masses 
of metal and gangue material, occurring in long ranges or belts, which . 
have been improperly termed veins. These dip at high angles, and upon 
the surface is gossan, and below it about ten feet are the black copper 
ores, and further down are other zones containing more or less copper. 
Numerous mines have been opened since the discovery of copper in 1843. 
The ores and minerals found are as follows: Copper pyrites, iron pyrites, 


magnetic pyrites, copper glauce, zinc blende, galena, orthoclase, albite, 
tremolite, actinolite, diallage, zoisite, calcite, quartz, rutile, garnet, allo- 
phane, alisonite, bornite, red copper, malacliite, azurite, copperas, blue- 
stone, black oxide (very valuable), native copper, harrisite, ralitite, limo- 
nite (gossan). Millions of dollars worth of copper ore have been taken 
out and shipped away. 

Nearly every county in East Tennessee contains galenite in small 
quantities. In Claiborne and Union Counties it occurs particularly 
abundant. In the latter county, on PowelFs Eiver, between Tazewell and 
Jacksborough, about sixteen miles from Tazewell, is one of the richest 
mines. The vein fills a nearly vertical fissure about twenty inches wide, 
in nearly horizontal rocks, and can be traced nearly a mile. The galenite 
is associated with zinc blende and pyrite, and occurs in sheets, two or 
more, having an aggregated thickness of five to ten inches. This mine is 
typical of the others. Near Charleston galenite was mined by the earlier 
races, probably Mound-Builders. Veins of galenite occur also in Middle 
Tennessee, but are of little importance. An important one occurs in 
Davidson County, near Haysborough, occurring in a gangue of barite. 
Galenite has also been found among the limestones of West Tennessee. 
Smithsonite and calamite, two zinc ores, occur in deposits and irregular 
veins in the dolomites of the Knox group, the most important being in 
Union, Claiborne and Jefferson Counties. The Steiner locality in Union 
County is important. The ore outcrops in a belt fifty or sixty feet wide, 
and runs across a low ridge. Through this ore small veins of Smithsonite 
and calamite ramify. Gold occurs in East Tennessee in the sands and 
gravels of creeks which flow over the metamorphic slates of the Ocoee 
group, and could doubtless be found in the quartz veins of the same group. 
It has been found in Blount, Monroe and Polk Counties. The most has 
been found on Coca Creek and vicinity, in Polk County, in a tract eight 
or ten miles long by two or tliree wide. Gold was first discovered in 
1831. Soon afterward the field was tlioroughly explored, and up to 1853 
$-16,023 in gold of this locality was deposited in the United States Mint. 
This gold is derived from the decomposed quartz veins, and has been 
washed into creek valleys. A quartz bearing gold has lately been found in 
AVhip-poor-will Creek, the metal appearing in grains or scales in the quartz. 

Lignite is found in beds in the Mississippi bluffs, and is a mass of 
dark grayish, laminated, micaceous sand, with lignitic, woody fragments, 
sticks, leaves, etc. It is also found in Carter County and a few other 
places. (Jrude petroleum and allied substances have been worked with 
profit in various places in Tennessee. Maury, Jackson, Overton, Dickson, 
Wilson, Montgomery, Hickman and other counties furnish it. 


The black shale is a great source of these oils, the richest producing 
from thirty to forty gallons of oil to the ton. The Spring Creek, Over- 
ton County, wells have yielded most. Thousands of barrels of crude 
petroleum have been pumped, salt mines have been worked on Calfkiller 
Creek, and in Anderson, Warren, Van Bm-en, Overton, Jackson and else- 
where. Sulphur springs occur in some localities. Nitre is found in the 
numerous caves of the limestones of tlie table-land. Alum is obtained 
from the black shale, Epsom salts is found in the caves. Gypsum ap- 
pears in several caves. Barite is found. Copperas was formerly exten- 
sively madefi'om the protoxide of iron (pyrites) thrown out at the Duck- 
worth copper mines, also sulphate of copper. Iron pyrites is often found. 
Black manganese is often found associated with limonite. 

Marble. — The marbles are very valuable, and are already a great 
source of wealth. They have been divided as follows: 1, reddish varie- 
gated fossilif erous marble ; 2, whitish variegated f ossilif erous marble ; 3, 
dull, variegated magnesian marble ; 4, black and dark-blue marbles ; 5, 
breccia and conglomerate marbles. The first is the most important and 
occurs in East, Middle and West Tennessee. Beds have been opened in 
Henry County, also in Benton and Decatur. In Franklin County are ex- 
tensive beds. In White County a clouded white marble is obtained. In 
the valley of East Tennessee the reddish marble occurs in Hawkins, Han- 
cock, Grainger, Jefferson, Knox, Roane, Blount, Monroe, McMinn and 
Bradley, and to a more limited extent in Meigs, Anderson, Union and 
Campbell. It has been extensively quarried, and is a variegated crin- 
oidal and coralline limestone colored grayish-white or brownish-red and 
.sometimes pinkish or greenish-red. The most common color is brownish- 
red more or less mottled with white or gray clouds or spots, due to corals. 
Large quantites are mined and shipped. It possesses great properties 
of weather durability and resistance to pressui*e. The whitish marble is 
a coralline, sparry gray-whitish rock, much of the white ground being 
mottled with pink or reddish spots. There is no superior building stone 
in the State than this variety. The other varieties are rarer, but all are 
good. From the gneiss and white quartz stones of the metamorphic 
group excellent mill-stones are obtained. The chert of the Knox dolo- 
mite furnishes fine mill-stones. The Ocoee group produces the best 
roofing slates. Hydraulic limestone and fire-clay abound. Sulphur, 
chalybeate, Epsom and alum springs abound. Sulphur springs originate 
in the black shale. 

Temperature. — It has been found, through many years' observation, 
that the mean annual temperature of the Valley of East Tennessee is about 
57 degrees, of the Central Basin 58, and of West Tennessee 59^ to GO de- 



grees, through the central part of the State, east and west. The average 
annual minimum temperature of Middle Tennessee is 2 degrees, and the 
average maximum temperatui-e about 94 degrees. The average length of 
the growing season, between the last killing frost of spring and the first 
of autumn, is about 194 days. In East Tennessee it is a few days less. 
Southerly winds are most prevalent, then northerly, and easterly and 
westerly about the same. The quantity of rain and melted snow varies 
annually from 43 to 55 inches. These estimates are the best that can be 
given from the limited observations made in the past. 

Elevations. — The principal elevations above the sea are as follows, in 
feet: Stone Mountain range — Cat Face Mountain, 4,913; State Gap, 
3,400 ; Taylorsville, 2,395 ; State line in Watauga Valley, 2,131 ; Yellow and 
Eoane range — Yellow Mountain, 5,158 ; Little Yellow, 5,196 ; Roane — Cold 
Spring, 6,132"; Grassy Ridge Bald, 6,230; High Knob, 6,306; High 
Bluff, 6,296 ; Bald Mountain range — -Bald Mountain, 5,550 ; Jonesborough, 
1734; Big Butt range — highest points over 5,000 feet; Greenville depot, 
1,581; Great Smoky range — Warm Springs, N. C, 1,335; piazza of 
hotel, Tennessee line on French Broad, 1,264; Indian Grove Gap, 4,288; 
Man Patch Ga].), 4,392; Bear Wallow Mountain, 4,659; Luftee Knob, 
6,238; Thermometer Knob, 6,157; Raven's Knob, 6,230; Tricorner Knob, 
6,188; Mount Guyot, 6,636; Mount Henry, 6,373; Mount Alexander, 
6,447; South Peak, 6,299; highest peak of Three Brothers, 5,907; Thun- 
der Knob, 5,682; Laurel Peak, 5,922; Reinhardt Gap, 5,220; top of 
Richland Ridge, 5,492; Indian Gap, 5,317; Pack's Peak, 6,232; Mount 
Ocona, 6,135; New Gap, 5,096; Mount Mingus, 5,694; Bullhead group 
— Mount Le Coute (central peak), 6.612; Mount Curtis (west peak), 
6,568; Mount Safford, 6,535; Cross Knob, 5,931; Neighbor, 5,771; 
Master Knob, 6,013; Tomahawk Gap, 5,450; Alum Cave, 4,971; Rood 
Gap, 5,271; Mount Collins, 6,188; Collins' Gap, 5,720; Mount Love, 
6,443; Clingman 8 Dome, 6,660; Mount Buckley, 6,599; Chimzey Knob, 
5,588; Big Stone Mountain, 5,614; Big Cherry Gap, 4,838; Corner 
Knob, 5,246; Forney Ridge Peak, 5,087; Snaky Mountain, 5,195; Thun- 
derhead Mountain, 5,520; Eagletop, 5,433; Spence Cabin, 4,910; 
Turkey Knob, 4,740; Opossum Gap, 3,840; North Bald, 4,711; Central 
Peak of Great Bald, 4,922; South Peak, 4,708; Tennessee River at 
Hardin's, 899; Chilhowee Mountain, 2,452; Montvale Springs, 1,293; 
between Little Tennessee and Hiwassee — Hangover Knob, over 5,300; 
Haw Knob, over 5,300; Beaver Dam or Tellico Bald, 4,266; south of 
the Hiwassee the elevation of the chain is reduced to 3,000 to 3,400 
feet; Frog Mountain is about 4,226 feet; the Ducktown copper region is 
about 2,000 feet high. 


Along the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railway the eleva- 
tions are as follows: Bristol, 1,678; Union, 1,457; Carter, 1,474; John- 
son's, 1,643; summit between Chucky and Watauga, 1,841; Jones- 
borough, 1,736; Limestone, 1,419; FuUens, 1,489; Greeneville, 1,381; 
Bull's Gap, 1,214; Russellville, 1,260; Morristown, 1,283; Strawberry 
Plains, 906; Knoxville, 898; Loudon, 819; Athens, 993; Hiwassee 
Eiver at low water, 684; Cleveland, 878; State line between Tennessee 
and Georgia, 837; also Clinton, 847; Chattanooga, railroad grade, 675; 
Tennessee River at Chattanooga, 642; Cumberland Gap, 1,636; Pinna- 
cle (near gap), 2,680; Elk Gap (surface), 1,702; Cross Mountain Point, 
3,370; Gap, 2,875; Cove Creek, 1,041; average bottom of Elk Fork 
Valley, 1,200; Pine Mountain, 2,200 to 2,400; Tellico Mountain, 2,000 to 
2,700; Crab Orchard Mountain, about 3,000; flat summit of Lookout 
Mountain, 2,154; Raccoon Mountain, back of Whiteside depot, 1,900; 
Tracy City, 1,847; highest ridges near Tracy City, 2,161; summit of 
Ben Lomond, 1,910; Tullahoma (grade), 1,070; creek at Manchester, 
996; McMinville (depot), 912; Sparta, station, 945; Livingston, station, 
966; Hickory Nut Mountain, about 1,400; Murfreesboro depot, 583; 
Nashville depot grade, 435. Nashville, low water in Cumberland, 365 ; 
Springfield grade, 659; Gallatin surface, 528; Franklin depot, 642; 
Columbia depot, 657; Mount Pleasant (creek), ()25; Palo Alto, 1,025; 
Pulaski, 648 ; Kingston Station, 506 ; highest point on the railroad west 
fi'om Nashville to the Tennessee River, 915; lowest point on the grade at 
the Tennessee River, 368; Grand Junction on the west side, 575; Middle- 
ton, 407; Moscow, 351; Germantowu, 378, Memphis, 245; low water of 
the Mississippi at Memphis, 170 ; Obion River on the Ohio & Mississippi 
Railroad (grade), 287; Bolivar, 430; Medon, 420; Jackson, 459. 




The Mound-Buildees— Etidences of Pre- Historic Occupation— Arguments 
OF Bancroft and Hildreth— Deductions of Judge Haywood— Com- 
parison OF Ancient Races and Customs— The Sun Worshipers— The 
Natchez Tribe — Classification of Earthworks — Representative 
Mounds of Tennessee -The "Stone Fort "—Contents of the Works— 
Their Great Age. 

AT the time of the discovery of the present State of Tennessee by 
white people, the larger part of it, as well as the larger part of the 
State of Kentucky, was unoccupied by any Indian tribe. The reason of 
this state of things will appear as the reader proceeds. But althougli 
then unoccupied there were found abundant evidences not only of the 
former presence of Indian tribes but of a still more dense and ancient 
population, possessing a higher degree of civilization, a more highly de- 
veloped condition of art, agriculture, warfare and religion, than anjihing 
of the kind pertaining to any of the aboriginal or Indian tribes, as they are 
called. These evidences consist of mounds of various shapes and kinds, 
of fortifications and of burying-grounds, of their contents, relics and re- 
mains still to be found throughout the valley of the Mississippi, and of 
the valleys of its tributaries from the Alleghany to the Rocky Mountains, 
and from the Gulf of Mexico to the great lakes, all of which relics and re- 
mains will be appropriately noticed in the proper connection. But from 
the existence and frequency of the occurrence of these mounds, the origin 
and history of which were at least as inexplicable to the aboriginal Iiultan 
tribes, as to their more intelligent and inductive successors, their erectors 
and constructors for want of a better name, have been by American histor- 
ians generally called the "Mound Builders." 

The most conspicuous exception to this rule is the venerable Bancroft, 
whose opinions, even if occasionally erronous, are eminently worthy of 
profound respect. To the historian and especially to the antiquarian, 
even if in less degree to the general student and reader, is the inquiry 
pertinent as to the origin of the first inhabitants of America. Bancroft 
many years ago wrote : " To aid this inquiry the country east of the Missis- 
sippi has no monuments. The numerous mounds which have been discov- 
ered in the alluvial valleys of the West, have by some been regarded as the 
works of an earlier and more cultivated race of men, whose cities have been 
laid waste, whose language and institutions have been destroyed, or driven 


away ; but the s-tudy of the structure of the earth strips this imposing theory 
of its marvels. Where imagination fashions relics of artificial walls, geol- 
ogy sees but crumbs of decaying sandstone, clinging like the remains of 
mortar to blocks of green stone that rested on it ; it discovers in parallel in- 
trenchments, a trough that subsiding waters have ploughed through the 
center of a ridge ; it explains the tessellated pavement to be but a layer of 
pebbles aptly joined by water ; and, on examining the mounds, and finding 
them composed of different strata of earth, arranged horizontally to the 
very edge, it ascribes their creation to the Power that shaped the globe 
into vales and hillocks. When the waters had gently deposited their al- 
luvial burden on the bosom of the earth it is not strange that of the fan- 
tastic forms shaped by the eddies, some should resemble the ruins of a 
fortress ; that the channel of a torrent should seem even like walls that 
connected a town with its harbor ; that natural cones should be esteemed 
monuments of inexplicable toil. But the elements as they crumble the 
mountain, and scatter the decomposed rocks, do not measure their action 
as men measure the labor of their hands. The hunters of old, as more 
recently the monks of La Trappe, may have selected a mound as the site 
of their dwellings, the aid to their ruvTo fortifications, their watch-towers 
for gaining a vision of God, or more frequently than all as their burying 
places. Most of the northern tribes, perhaps all, preserved the bones of 
their fathers ; and the festival of the dead was the greatest ceremony of 
Western faith. When Nature has taken to herself her share in the con- 
struction of the symmetrical hillocks, nothing will remain to warrant the 
inference of a high civilization that has left its abodes or died away — of 
an earlier acquaintance with the arts of the Old World. That there have 
been successive irruptions of rude tribes may be inferred from the insulated 
fragments of nations which are clearly distinguished by their language. 
The mounds in the valley of the Mississippi have also been used ; the smal- 
ler ones perhaps, have been constructed as burial places of a race, of which 
the peculiar organization, as seen in the broader forehead, the larger fac- 
ial angle, the less angular figure of the orbits of the eye, the more narrow 
nose, the less evident projection of the jaws, the smaller dimensions of the 
palatine fossa, the flattened occiput, bears a surprisingly exact resem- 
blance to that of tlie race of nobles who sleep in the ancient tombs of 
Peru. Eetaining the general characteristics of the red race, they differ 
obviously from the present tribes of Miamis and Wyandots. These 
moldering bones from hillocks which are crowned by trees that have de- 
fied the storms of many centuries, raise bewildering visions of migrations 
of which no tangible traditions exist; but the graves of earth from which 
they are dug, and the feeble fortifications that are sometimes found in 


the vicinity, afford no special evidence of early connection with other 
continents. 'Among the more ancient works,' says a careful observer, 
who is not disposed to undervalue the significancy of these silent monu- 
ments, near which he dwells, and which he has carefully explored, ' there 
is not a single edifice nor any ruins which prove the existence in former 
ages of a building composed of imperishable materials. No fragpient of 
a column, nor a brick, nor a single hewn stone large enough to have been 
incorporated into a wall, has been discovered. The only relics which re- 
main to inflame curiosity are composed of earth.' Some of the tribes had 
vessels made of clay; near Natchez an image was found of a siibstance 
not harder than clay dried in the sun. These few memorials of other 
days may indicate revolutions among the barbarous hordes of the Ameri- 
cans themselves; they cannot solve for the inquirer the problem of their 

Thus Bancroft while denying the general proposition that there was 
in the Mississippi Valley anteriorly to its occupation by Indians, a race 
of Mound Builders, as that term is generally understood, yet admits that 
there may have been a race who may have constructed the smaller mounds, 
as burial places, and Avhose general physical characteristics bore a strik- 
ingly exact resemblance to that of the race of nobles who sleep in the 
ancient tombs of Peru. But other authorities, notably Winchell, the 
author of "Preadamites," hold, from the evidences which they have accu- 
mulated, that not only was the entire Mississippi Valley inhabited by an 
agricultural population of greater or less density, but such population 
possessed an entirely different physical structure and entirely different 
habits and civilization than these possessed by the Indian tribes. If 
the latter were the descendants of the earlier race of Mound Builders suf- 
ficient time elapsed between them to change the stature, cranial develop- 
ment and pursuits. It is well established that, while the Indians pro- 
fessed ]io knowledge of the construction of the greater number of the 
mounds, they themselves built them for probably the same purpose as the 
Mound Builders. 

Another celebrated American historian, Hildreth, expresses himself 
with reference to the inferences to be drawn from the existence of the 
mounds in the following language : "These memorials consist of embank- 
ments of earth and stone exhibiting indisputable evidence of design and 
were sometimes of very great extent. Some of them were located along the 
brows of hills or upon the precipitous edges of ravines enclosing consid- 
erable table-land, and were evidently designed as works of defense. Others 
still more numerous, extensive and elaborate were most probably con- 
nected with religious ideas. In various places they present curious basso- 

//'^ :. 


reliei'os, birds, beasts, reptiles and even men; more generally enclosures 
of various sorts, perfect circles or squares and parallel lines of great 
extent, the embankments being from five to thirty feet in height, and the 
enclosures fi'om one to fifty or even to four hundred acres; other classes 
of structures connected with or separate from those just mentioned, 
increasing in number toward the south, conical and pyramidal structures, 
from a few yards to hundreds in diameter and from ten to ninety feet in 
height occasionally terraced like the Mexican teocallis. Some of these 
were for sepulchral purposes, others were doubtless mounds of sacrifice. 
Connected with these ancient monuments are found remnants of pottery, 
and weapons and utensils of stone, axes and ornaments of copper; but 
nothing which indicates a higher civilization than that possessed by the 
Indians. Yet the extent and number of these earth erections, of which 
there are but few traces east of the AUeghanies, which region was the 
most populous when discovered by Europeans, evinces the combined labor 
of many hands, of a kind of which no trace has ever been found among 
the aboriginal tribes." 

All Avriters on American antiquities infer fi-om the existence of these 
antiquities the existence of a race of Mound Builders. Accepting this 
conclusion as settled there still remain the puzzling problems as to 
whence they came, how long they remained and when and whither they 
went. Other authors, besides Judge Haywood, have made strong attempts 
at a solution from the scanty evidence at hand. His attempt, though 
exceedingly interesting and ingenious, lias not been generally recognized 
as final. He labors assiduously to sliow various similarities between the 
Hindoos and Egyptians, and then to show the similarities between Mexi- 
cans and Peruvians and the Hindoos and Persians. All of these nations 
called their rulers the children of the sun. The Mexicans and Hindoos 
both divided the people into four castes. The state of property was also 
the same in Persia, Egypt and Peru, one-third set apart as sacred to the 
God they worshiped, one-third to the sovereign and one-third to the 
people. The religion of the Mexicans and of the Hindoos was also similar. 
The Hindoos have a irimurti consisting of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. 
From Hindostan this idea or conception of a triune God traveled into 
Egypt, and thence to the Hebrew nation, Greece and Rome, and if the 
same deified trinity be found in America it is legitimate to refer it to the 
same Hindoo origin, at least until a better be assigned. * 

The representations of the Mexican god Hialzettipocli very strikingly 
resemble that of the Hindoo god Krishna. The masque of the Mexican 
priest is represented in Mexico. He is drawn as sacrificing a human 
victim, a sacrifice which all worshipers of the sun everywhere make. 



The masque represents an elephant's trunk, similar to the head so often 
seen portrayed in Hindostan. As no elephants exist in America it is 
reasonable to conclude that the 'design was brought from Asia. Various 
coincidences are seized upon to show the possible derivation of the relig- 
ion of the Mexicans from that of the Hindoos. Among the latter the 
conch shell is used as a symbolical representation of Vishnu, and also in 
the worship of that deity. The conch shell is similarly used by the Mex- 
icans in their worship of the god of the ocean, which they adore equally 
with the sun. And the little conch shells found in the graves of the 
ancient inhabitants of the Mississippi Valley indicate similar religious 
belief and ceremonies. Multitudinous ablutions are alike used by both. 
The sacred buildings of the Mexicans are similar to the same buildings, 
and the pyramids of Egypt and India and the temple of Belus. The 
tower of Babel and the great temple of Mexico Avere each dedicated to 
two divinities. The similarity of the construction of the pyramids of 
Mexico is worthy of notice, those in both countries being square and so 
built as to almost exactly face the four cardinal points of the compass; 
those in Egpyt being precisely coincident with the true meridian, and 
those in Mexico varying only by fifty-two seconds of arc. The cosmical 
history of the Mexicans is the same as that of the Hindoos, both believ- 
ing, to illustrate, that the world Avould be destroyed by a general confla- 
gration, and mankind having all derived it from the prophecy of Noah.* 
The vernacular customs of both Hindoos and Mexicans were the same 
both as to those relative to religion and as to those relating to the com- 
mon concerns of life. The titles the sun, the brother of the sun, the chil- 
dren of the sun, were given to the princes of Peru and of Mexico and of 
the Natchez, and are the same as those anciently given to the princes of 
Persia, India, Ceylon and China. The Mexican year consisted of 365 
days, six hours, and the day began with the rising of the sun, as was like- 
wise the case with the Persians and Egpytians, as well as the greater j)art 
of the nations of Asia. The Egyptians did not know of the year consist- 
ing of 365 days in the time of Moses nor until 1322 B. C. In the time 
of Plato, 384 B. C, they discovered that a year consists of 365 days, six 
hours. The people of America called the constellation now universally 
known as the Great Bear by a name which signifies the bear, a name first 
given to this constellation by the Egpytians and some Asiatic people. 
Such facts as these afford indxibitable proof that the astronomy of the 
Mexicans was not of their own invention, but was learned by them from 
the countries wlience they immigrated. They also were familiar with 
certain Scriptural traditions ; as the fall of man, and the connection of the 

•Genesis ix: 11 to 15. 


serpent with tliat fall ; of a great flood overwhelming the earth from which 
only a single family escaped, and also of a great pyramid erected by the 
pride of man, and destroyed by the auger of the gods. But they have 
no tradition of any thing that occurred on the eastern side of the Atlantic 
Ocean later than the building of the tower of Babel. The Mexicans 
therefore could not have learned them from the writings of Moses or they 
would also have known of the history of Abraham and of the Israelites 
as well as of the facts to which such traditions relate. Hence they must 
have left the Old World before the writings of Moses came into exist- 
ence, or they must have lived for a time in some part of Asia, where, on 'j 
account of the prevailing idolatry, the writings of Moses could not pene- w 
trate, but yet where they had access to the astronomical learning of the ^f 
Chaldeans after 384 B. C. ^ 

At the time of Moses all . the civilized nations of Asia worshiped the ^ 
sun, as the numerous places named Baal with an affix abuudgintly testify, "^ 
as Baalath, Baalpeor, etc., and so far were his many and earnest injunc- -^ 
tions from subduing their disposition to this worship, that even Solomon, i 
who lived 500 years after Moses' time, and who was the wisest of princes, 
embraced the idolatrous worship of the sun. It is fair to presume that 
sun-worshipers follow the same customs all over the world. Sun-wor- 
shipers, wherever they are known to practice this form of idolatry, build 
high places, enclosing them in open courts, and upon these high places 
erect houses for their idols, placing the idols within the houses. Upon 
these high places they burnt incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to 
the planets and to the hosts of heaven. Upon these high places they 
made sacrifices of human beings, even of their sons and daughters, to the 
sun, and made their children pass through the fire to their idols. In 
Scotland a ceremony used to be celebrated on the 1st of May (O. S. ), 
the inhabitants of a district assembling in the field, digging out a square 
trench, in which they built a fire and baked a cake, and then cutting the 
cake into as many pieces as there were persons, and blacking one with 
charcoal, all were thrown into a bag, out of which each person, blind- 
folded, drew a piece, the one drawing the black piece was sacrificed to 
Baal (some say made to leap through the fire three times) to propitiate 
him for the coming year. This is the same ceremony as was practiced 
by Manasseh, the sixteenth King of Judah, who made his sons pass 
through the fire to Moloch. Certain worshipers of the sun kept the 
festival of Tammuz, at the time of the summer solstice, the same time at 
which the southern Indians celebrated the green corn dance 

The Mexicans had pikes pointed with copper which appeared to have 
been hardened with an amalgam of tin, and they had among them car- 


penters, masons, weavers and founders. The Peruvians used mattocks of 
hardened wood and bricks dried in the sun. They had the art of smelt- 
ing ore. and of refining silver, of which they made domestic utensils. 
They had also hatchets of copper made as hard as iron, but they did 
not worship idols. They carried the idols of the people they conquered 
to their temple of the sun at Cusco. Hence the mounds upon which 
images have been found in the Mississippi Valley can not be ascribed to 
the Peruvians. The question remains, can they be ascribed to the Mex- 
icans or to a similar race? 

All the nations west of the Mississippi when they first became known 
to Europeans were worshipers of the sun, and were governed by despotic 
princes — two prominent circumstances in which they differed fi'om the 
Indians who lived on the Great Lakes and on the east side of the AUe- 
ghanies. At this time the Natchez tribe of. Indians occupied almost the 
entire eastern part of the Mississippi Valley south of the Ohio River, and 
a portion of that north of this river, and most of tlie mounds Avere the 
limits of their settlements. They^were governed by one man who styled 
himself the child of the sun, or the sun, and upon his breast was the 
image of that luminary. His wife was called the wife of the sun, and 
like him was clothed with absolute authority. When either of these rul- 
ers died, the guards killed themselves in order to 'attend them in the other 
world. They had one temple for the entire nation and when on one occa- 
sion it caught fire, some mothers threw their children into the flames to 
st-^p their progress. Some families were considered noble and enjoyed 
hereditary flignity, while the great body of the people were considered 
vile. Their great chief, the descendant of the sun, the sole object of 
their worship, they approached with religious veneration, and honored 
him as the representative of their deity. In their temples, which were 
constructed with some magnificence, they kept up a perpetual fire as the 
purest emblem of their divinity. The Mexicans and the people of Bo- 
gota were worshipers of the sun and moon, and had temples, altars, 
priests and sacrifices. The name of the Natchez melted away, and their 
decline seemed to keep pace with the wasting away of the Mexican em- 
pire. The Natchez were partially destroyed in a battle with the French, 
east of the Mississippi, and fifter their retreat up Red River, west of the 
Mississippi, they were finally conquered, their women and children re- 
duced to slavery and distributed among the plantations, and the men 
themselves sent to serve as slaves in San Domingo. 

Tlie Natchez were the most highly polished and civilized of any race 
of Indians. Tliey had an established religion and a regular priesthood. 
The usual distinctions created by rank were understood and observed, in 


which particulars they differed from the Indians north of the Ohio and 
east of the Alleghanies, They were seldom engaged in any but defensive 
wars and did not deem it glorious to destroy the human species. They 
were just, generous and humane, and attentive to the wants of the needy; 
and it is probable they inhabited all the country from the Mississippi 
eastward to the Alleghanies and northward to the Ohio. 

In the light of more recent investigations, although Judge Haywood's 
line of argument is that necessarily followed by naturalists, and although 
the facts brought to light by him are yet as valuable as though his theory 
were impregnable, yet it was necessary for him to assume untenable 
positions in order to make it appear reasonable that the Natchez were the 
Mound Builders. In all probability this tribe occupied a territory much 
smaller than that supposed by him, viz. : the entire eastern half of the 
Mississippi Valley south of the Ohio River. But even if his supposition 
in this respect were true, there are many thousands of mounds outside of 
these limits, in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. In this latter 
State the mounds appear to be of a kind peculiar to that location, being 
so constructed as to show they were designed to be effigies of most of the 
various kinds of quadrupeds known in the country, as well as fishes, 
reptiles and birds. Of these perhaps the most remarkable is the "Big 
Elephant Mound," a few miles below the mouth of the Wisconsin River, 
in Wisconsin. From its name its form may be inferred. It is 135 feet 
in length and otherwise properly proportioned. It scarcely seems prob- 
able that the people who constructed these mysterious mounds could have 
represented an elephant or a mastodon without having seen#one, and it 
is perhaps justly inferable that the "Big Elephant Mound" was con- 
structed in the days of the mastodon. If this be true it is eloquent in 
its ai-gumsnt for the immense age of the mounds, as geologists are gen- 
erally agreed that the mastodon lived not much later than the Pliocene era. 

Another fact attesting the great age of these most interesting relics 
is this: The human bones found therein, except those of a later and 
probably intrusive burial, are not in a condition to admit of removal, as 
they crumble into dust upon exposure to the air; while human bones are 
removed entire from British fuinuli known to belong to ages older than 
the Christian era, and frequently from situations much less conducive to 
preservation than those in the mounds, and in addition the mounds are 
rarely found upon the most recently formed terraces of the rivers. 

The selection of sites for the location of these mounds appears to 
have been guided by the location of soils capable of cultivation, and by 
accessibility to navigable streams; the same situations have since fre- 
quently been selected by pioneers of civilization as the centers of settle- 


inent and trade. While the purpose for which some of these mounds 
were erected is sometimes doubtful, as is the case with the "animal 
mounds" in AVisconsin, a few in Ohio, and some in the valley of the Arkan- 
sas, yet as to many of them which have been carefully explored there is 
less doubt, aiid they are divided according to the uses to which they were 
probably devoted. All the earthworks found in Tennessee belong to one 
of the classes below. Mounds are numerous in West Tennessee, on the 
Cumberland, on both Big and Little Tennessee, on French Broad,on Duck 
and on the Elk. The earthworks have been classified by an eminent anti- 
q^uarian* as follows: 

Mounds ■{ Sacrificial. 
I Memorial. 

Earthworks. \ ^^^,^^ ] EmWematic. 
I ( Symbolical. 

I ( Military. 

i Inclosures ■< Covered. 
( Sacred. 

One of these mounds is in the immediate vicinity of Nashville, upon 
which Monsieur Charleville, the French trader, had his store in 1714, 
when the Shawanee Indians were driven away by the Cherokees and Chick- 
asaws. Very large burying grounds lay between fhis mound and the 
river ; thence westwardly and then to the creek. The great extent of the 
burying ground, and the vast number of interments therein, induce the 
belief that a population once resided there many times greater than that 
now occupying that portion of the State, and suggested the idea that the 
cemetery was in the vicinity of the mound because the mound was used 
for religious purposes. 

About fourteen miles up the Cumberland above Nashville is a mound 
twelve to thirteen feet high. Upon excavation ashes were found mixed 
with lime and substances resemblino: human bodies after beinsf burned. 

On Big Harpetli River, near the mouth of Dog Creek, is a square 
mound, 47x47 feet and 25 feet high and in a row with it two others from 
5 to 10 feet high. At some distance are three others in a row parallel 
with the first, the space between resembling a public square. All around 
the bend of the river, except at a place of entrance, is a wall on the mar- 
gin of the river, the mounds being within the area enclosed by the wall. 
AVithin this space is a reservoir of water about fifteen feet square. On 
the top of the large mound was found an image eighteen inches long from 
head to foot composed of soapstone. The trees standing upon the mounds 
are very old ; a poplar tree was five or six feet in diameter. 

^Isaac Smucker in "Ohio Statistics." 


Higher up the river and within a mile of those just described is 
another bend in the river. In this bend, on the south side of the river, 
is a mound of the same size as the larger one described above. Near 
this mound were found a large number of pine knots. As there were then 
no pine woods within five or six miles it is supposed that these pine knots 
are the remains of the old field pines, which grew to full size after 
cultivation had deserted this region, and falling there decayed. The soil 
renewed its richness, and the present gro^vth, consisting of oaks, poplars 
and maples, succeeded that renewal. Allowing 250 years for the growth 
of the pines, 50 years for the renewal of the soil and 350 years for the 
I)resent growth, 650 years have passed since the commencement of the 
growth of the pines. Hence those pines must have begun to grow about 
the year 1240,. which again shows the great age of the mounds. 

In Sumner County, in a circular enclosure between Bledsoe's Lick 
and Bledsoe's Spring branch, is a wall from fifteen to eighteen inches 
high, with projecting angular elevations of the same height, the wall 
enclosing about sixteen acres. AVithin the enclosure is a raised platform 
from thirteen to fifteen feet above the common surface, about 200 yards 
from the south wall. This platform is sixty yards wide, is level on the 
top and joins a mound which is twenty feet square and eighteen feet 
above the common level. In 1785 a black oak tree three feet through 
was growing on the top of this mound. About 1815 there was plowed 
up on top of the mound an image made of sandstone. The breast was 
that of a female and prominent, and the color was that of a dark infusion 
of coffee. Near this mound was a cave, which at the time of its discovery 
contained a great number of human skulls, without the appearance of any 
other portions of the! human skeleton near them. 

In Williamson County, northwardly from Franklin, on the north side 
of Little Harpeth, are walls of dirt running north from the river. In 
1821 they were four or five feet high, and from 400 to 500 yards long, 
the inclosure containing about fifty acres. AVithin this inclosure are 
three mounds standing in a row from north to south, all nearly of the 
same size. Within this inclosure is a large number of graves, some of 
the bones in which were very large. 

In the same county on the south side of Big Harpeth, about three 
miles from Franklin, is an ancient entrenchment nearly in the form of a 
semi-circle, containing about twenty acres. Within the inclosure made 
by this entrenchment and the bluff are several mounds of different shapes 
and sizes, fi'om six to ten feet high and fi'om ten to twelve yards wide. 
Besides these are other mounds nearly round and ten yards in diameter. 
The largest of the mounds of ,the first class is sixty-eight feet wide and 


148 feet long and about ten feet high. The trees within the enclosure 
are as large as those of the surrounding country. 

In Hickman County, at the junction of Piney Eiver with Duck Riyer, 
is an enclosure containing twenty-fiv-e or thirty mounds, one of which is 
about fifteen feet high, round and somewhat raised on top, but yet flat 
enough to build a house on. At the base it is about thirty or forty yards 
across. There are numerous mounds in the bottoms? of Duck River, and 
caves containing human bones. 

In Lincoln County, near Fayetteville, below the mouth of Norris 
Creek, are a wall and a ditch proceeding from a point on the river circu- 
larly till it returns to the river, forming an enclosure of about ten acres. 
Within this enclosure are mounds six or eight feet high. On the outside 
of the wall and joined to it are angular projections about'180 feet apart 
and extending outward about ten feet. On one of these angular pro- 
jections stood a black oak tree, which, wlien cut down, exposed 260 annu- 
lar rings. 

In Warren County are numerous mounds fifteen feet high. Eight 
miles south from McMinnville, on Collins River, is a mound thirty feet 
high, with a flat top, containing about one and a half acres of ground. 
On either side of the mound toward the north and south is a ditch about 
twenty feet wide and four feet deep at present, extending parallel and 
terminating at each end at a high bluif. On the mounds were large 
stumps indicating trees of a very great age. 

In Roane County is a mound thirty feet high, having a flat top and a 
regular ascent from bottom to top. The summit contains one-fourth of 
an acre, and all around the summit there was a stone wall about two 
feet high. It is on the south side of the Tennessee River. Across the 
Tennessee facing the mound is a high bluff, upon which three figures are 
painted with black and red colors fi-om the waist upward. One of the 
figures is that of a female. 

On the French Broad River, about one mile above the mouth of the 
Nollichucky, is a mound thirty feet high, with old trees at the top. 

In the third section of the fourth range of the Tenth District of the 
Chickasaw Purchase are seven mounds, one of them seventeen feet high 
and about 140 feet across. Seven miles southwest of Hatchie River and 
about fifty miles east of the Mississippi, in a fertile part of the country, 
are three mounds enclosed by an intrenchment from ten to thirty feet 
wide. Two miles soutli of the south fork of Forked Deer River and about 
fifty miles east of the Mississippi, is a mound fifty-seven feet high and 
over 200 feet across. On the south side of Forked Deer River, about 
forty miles west of the Tennessee, is a mound about 100 rods in diameter 


at the base, the summit containing about four acres, ami in this part of 
the country are a great number of mounds besides. 

On the north bank of tlie Holston River five miles above tiie mouth 
of French Broad, are six mounds on half an acre of ground, irregularly 
scattered. The bases of these mounds are from ten to thirty feet in 
diameter, the largest one ten feet higli. Near these mounds on a bluff 
100 feet high are painted in red colors the figures of the sun and moon, 
birds, fishes, etc. 

The contents of the mounds are sometimes of consideraV)le interest. 
In 1821 the Oharleville mound near Nashville was opened, and pottery 
of Indian fabrication was found, as also the jaw boiie of some unknown 
caruiverous animal, and small fragments of liones thought t(^ be human. 
About four feet from the summit was found a layer of charcoal about two 
inches thick and extending outward from the center of the mound from 
eight to ten feet. The inference was that a fire had been built on top of 
the mound, and after the fuel had been consumed, fresli dirt carried in 
earthen jars and laid on the ashes before they had time to blow away, the 
fragments of these jars being seen through every part of the mound. 
The object for which the mound Avas raised can only be conjectured. It 
could not have been for a throne for the ruler of the nation, for savaires 
are not thus devoted to their leaders. It could not have been for mili- 
tary purposes, for to be placed on the mound would be only to be more 
exposed to the enemy's missiles. It could not have been for a tower, for 
there was no narrow pass near it to be guarded. It therefore seems prob- 
able that it could only be for religious purposes. 

In the mounds near Bledsoe's Lick fCastalian Springs), in Sumner 
County, were found ashes, pottery ware, flint, muscle shells, periwinkles, 
coal, etc. In making an excavation in one of these mounds there was 
found two feet below the surface a layer of ashes fourteen inches thick. In 
proceeding doA\T2ward there were found twenty-eight layers of ashes, alter- 
nating with clay, the ashes being of a blackish color. At eight feet below 
the summit of the mound was found the skeleton of a child, the surround- 
ings bearing evidence of careful Inirial. The skeleton was in quite a de- 
cayed state. At its feet was a jug of sand-stone capable of holding about 
a gallon. Small pieces of decayed human bones were also found, and also 
the jaw-bone of some unknown animal with a tusk attached, the tusk being 
of the same form as that of the mastodon. There were found also the bones 
of birds, arrow points, and flints at the depth of eighteen feet, and pottery, 
some of which was glazed, isinglass, and burnt corn-cobs. At the depth of 
nineteen feet were found a piece of a corn-cob and some small pieces of 
cedar almost entirely decayed. 


Near Nashville, probably about the year 1800, there was dug up an 
imasre. The base of this im lije was a flat circle from which rose a some- 
what elongated globular figure terminating at the top with the figure of 
a female head. The features of the face were Asiatic, probably a resem- 
blance of the Mound Builders themselves. The crown of the head was 
covered with a cap or ornament, shaped into a pyramidal figure, with a 
flattened circular summit ending at the apex in a rounded button. 
Another image was found about twelve miles south from Nashville, of 
sculptured stone, representing a woman sitting with hands under her 
chin and elbows on her knees. It was well proportioned, neatly formed 
and highly polished. Two others were found near Clarksville, one of an 
old man the other of an old woman. In 1883 a roughish stone image 
was found on the farm of Dr. W. H. Garman, seven miles from Franklin, 
Williamson County. This is the image of a person sitting with limbs 
draAvn close to the body and hands upon knees, and with the features 
resembling somewhat the supposed appearance of the Mound Builders. 
This image is now in the possession of the Tennessee Historical Society 
at Nashville. 

In a cave about six miles from Carthage on the Cumberland E-iver 
were found a number of human skeletons, one of which was that of a female 
with yellow hair, and having around the wrist a silver clasp Avith letters in- 
scribed resembling those of the Greek alphabet. This was in 1815. But 
perhap the most interesting relics found in Tennessee, in the form of human 
skeletons, were discovered in 1811 in a cave in AVarren County, about 
twenty miles from McMinnville. These were of two human beings, one 
male the other female. They liad been buried in baskets the construc- 
tion of which was evidence of considerable mechanical skill. Both bodies 
were dislocated at the hips and were placed erect in the baskets, each, of 
which had a neatly fitting cover of cane. The flesh of these persons was 
entire and undecayed, dry and of a brown color. Around the female, next 
to her body, was placed a well dressed deer-skin, and next to this was a 
mantle composed of the bark of a tree and feathers, the bark being com- 
posed of small strands well twisted. The mantle or rug was aboxit six 
feet long and three feet wide. She had in her hand a fan made from the 
tail feathers of a turkey, and so made as to be opened and closed at pleas- 
ure. The hair remaining on the heads of both was entire, and that upon 
the head of the female, who appeared to have been about fourteen years 
old at the time of her death, was of a yellow color and a very fine texture. 
Hence the individuals were thought to have been of European or Asiatic 
extraction. "With reference to the mantles in wliich these ])odies were 
enclosed it may be remarked that the Florida Indians met with by De 


■Soto in his wanderings "adorned themselves with mantles made of 
feathers, or in a textile fabric of some woody fiber," and " wore shoes and , 
clothing made from skins which they dressed and colored with great skill."* 
It appears also that certain Indians were acquainted with some kind of 
rude art of preserving the bodies of the dead, for, in 1528, Pamphilo de 
Narvaez and his company in a reconnoissance along the coast near Tampa 
Bay, Fla., " came upon a little Indian village, where they found some 
bodies in a sort of mummified condition, the sacred remains, no doubt, of 
the ancestors of the chiefs of the tribe, "f Thus the mantles and the 
mummified condition of these bodies might perhaps be considered suffi- 
ciently accounted for, but there remains the question of the color and 
fineness of the texture of the hair to be solved. 

Numbers of the constructions by the Mound Builders were evidently 
for other than sacrificial or religious purposes. On the south branch 
of Forked Deer River between the Tennessee and Mississippi Pivers is 
the appearance of what tlie people there call an ancient fortification. It 
is 250 yards square. The wall is made of clay and is eight feet above 
the general level. Trees as large as any in the surrounding county are 
growing on the top and sides of the wall. Within this wall is an ancient 
mound eighty-seven feet high, circular in form except at the top where 
it is square and fifty feet each way. 

In Stewart County, near the junction of Spring Branch with Wells 
Creek is a fortification about ninety feet square, with bastions twelve 
feet square at the opposite corners. Large white oak and liickory trees 
are growing on the walls and bastions. 

But perhaps the most interesting of all the ancient constructions in 
Tennessee is what is everywhere known as the "Old Stone Fort." This 
fort is in Coffee County, at the verge of the highlands one mile from 
Manchester, just above the junction of Barren Fork and Taylor's Fork of 
Duck Biver. The fort itself is in the form of an irregular oval. On 
the east and west sides of it the water falls from precipice to precipice 
until the fall is 100 feet in a half mile. The fort is a wonderful struc- 
ture. The walls are composed of boulders, conglomerate and debyis from 
the beds of the two streams, and earth. The embankment has a base of 
thirty feet and when built it was doubtless higher tliaii the men who 
made it. The amount of material which entered into its construction is 
immense, and a corresponding amount of labor Avas required to do the 
work. Thirty years ago the ground was very heavily timbered with 
poplar, chestnut and hickory, ranging from three to five feet in diameter. 
Trees as large as could be found anywhere in the vicinity were standing 




immediately on the embankment, and it is manifest that at the time of the 
building of the fort there was not a tree nor shrub to be found in the vicin- 
ity. In the diagram A repre- 
sents the entrance into the fort, 
B a semi-circular embankment 
to cover the entrance, and C an 
excavation about 100 feet deep 
extending from one river to the 
other. Whether this excavation 
was made by man or nature can 
not now be known, but specula- 
tion favors the hypothesis that 
it was made by man. The an- 
tiquity of the fort is indubit- 
able. Nothing has ever been 
found about the fort to furnish 
the least clue to its origin. It 
could not have been, as has 
been suggested, the work of De 
Soto and his men, for in the first 
place they were probably much 
farther south when they passed 
its longitude, and second it 
would have required half a life- 
time to do the work, and then 
they would have had no use for 
it when made. In addition to 
these considerations it is shown to have been in existence before De Soto 
visited this country. On the 7th of August, 1819, Col. Andrew Erwin, 
on whose land the fort was, caused to be cut down a white oak tree. 
Maj. Murray and himself counted 357 annular rings in this tree, which 
was growing on the wall. How long it was after the building of the 
wall before the tree began to grow it is of course impossible to know. 
It may have been one hundred or a thousand years. But if no interval 
be allowed, which however cannot be supposed, the fort can not have 
been erected later than 357 years previous to 1819, or 1462, thirty years 
before Columbus discovered America, and seventy-eight years before De 
Soto made his famous tour of exploration. Thus again do we arrive at 
an immense age for these works, and it is also fair to presume that the 
fort was built when this section of the country was thickly inhabited. 
Many other remains and relics of great interest, especially to the anti- 


quarian, have been found within this State. Enough has been presented 
to show that the Mound Builders, whencesoever and whenever they may 
have come, were a numerous, intelligent, religious, agricultural and, to a 
considerable degree, a warlike people, at least so far as defensive wars 
are concerned ; that they occupied the country probably for many centur- 
ies ; that they were driven out by a race superior in numbers and probably 
in the art of war, but inferior in intellect; that they can scarcely have 
lived in this country later than 1,000 or 1,200 A. D. ; that when driven 
out they probably moved southward into Mexico, Central and South Am- 
erica, and they may possibly have been the ancestors of, or have been 
absorbed by, some Central American or South American race. 


TnE Indian Races— Dialects and Traditions— Geographical Tribal Lo- 
cation— French AND Spanish Settlements— Establishment of the First 
Fort— Sava(}e Atrocities— The Fort Loudon Massacre— Destruction 
OF Indian Villages and Fields—" The Beloved Toavn"— Peace and Ces- 
sion Treaties— Battle of Point Pleasant— Border Wapj5— Expeditions 
OF Rutherford and Christian— " The Lower ToWns "— SfeviER's Cam- 
paigns—Reservations AND Boundary Lines— Thrilling Frontier Inci- 
dents-Indian Affairs on the Cumberland— Robertson's Exertions— 
The Coldwater and Nickajack Expeditions— Treaty Stipulations— 
The Unicoi Turnpike Company— The Hiwassee Lands— The Western 
Purchase— Exodus. 

THE race of red men having the earliest claim to the territory now em- 
])raced within the limits of Tennessee, was the Iroquois, or Confeder- 
acy of Six Nations, though it was for the most part unoccupied by them. 
The Achalaques had a kind of secondary, or perhaps it may be called 
permissory claim to it. In Schoolcraft's great work on the Indian races 
of North America is a map showing the location of the various Indian 
tribes in the year 1600, which, if authentic, proves that the Achalaques 
then occupied most of Tennessee east of the Tennessee Eiver, and also 
small portions of Georgia and Alabama, and a considerable portion of 
Kentucky. The ancient Achalaques were the same tribe or nation as 
tiie modern Cherokees. They have no I in their language, and hence 
substitute the letter r therefore, in a manner similar to that in which the 
modern Chinaman substitutes I for r. Then by a few other slight and 
obvious changes the name Cherokee is easily obtained. But the fii-st 
actual Indian occupants of this territory, of which history or tradition fur- 


nishes any account, were the Shawanees, or Shawanoes as they were earlier 

With respect to the origin of the Shawanees it is proper to observe 
that they and the Algonquins are the only tribes of Indians, having a 
tradition of an origin from beyond the seas — of a landing from a sea voy- 
age. John Johnson, Esq., who was for many years prior to 1820 agent 
for the Shawanee.s, observes, in a letter dated July 7, 1819, that they 
migrated from west Florida and parts adjacent to Ohio and Indiana, 
where they were then located : 

'•The people of this nation have a tradition that their ancestors crossed 
the sea. They are the only tribe with which I am acquainted who ad- 
mit a foreign origin. Until lately they kept yearly sacrifices for their 
safe arrival in this country. From where they came or at what period 
they arrived in America they do not know. It is a prevalant opinion 
among them that white people had inhabited Florida who had the use of 
iron tools. Blackhoof, a celebrated Indian chief, informs me that he has 
even heard it spoken of by old people that stumps of trees covered with 
earth were frequently found which had been cut down with edged tools.'" 

About the year 1600 the Five Nations were settled near the site of 
Montreal, Canada, having come probably from the north or northwest. 
There were among them, as well as among other races, several traditions 
relative to the extirpation of an ancient race of people. The tradition of 
the Indians northwest of tlie Ohio was that Kentucky had been inhal)- 
ited by white people, and that they had been exterminated by war. The 
Sac Indians had a tradition that Kentucky had been the scene of much 
blood. The ancient inhabitants, they said, were white, and possessed 
arts of which the Indians were entirely ignorant. Col. McGee was told by 
an Indian that it was a current tradition among the Indians that Ohio and 
Kentucky had once been inhabited by Avhite people who possessed arts 
not understood by the Indians, and that after many severe conflicts they 
had been exterminated. The various sources from Avhich this tradition 
comes is evidence of its very general existence among the Aborigines 
more, perhaps, than of its truth. 

The Shawanees, who came from the Savannah River, whose name was 
once the Savannachers, and after whom the Savannah River received its 
name, at one time claimed the lands on the Cumberland River. This was, 
however, at a later period in their history, when their name had been 
changed from the Savannachers to the Shawanoes. The French called 
both the tribe and the river the Chauvanon, or Shauvanon. The Chero- 
kees, as was stated above, also asserted a claim to the same land, but al- 
ways acknowledged the superior claim of the Iroquois, who themselves 


claimed tlie country by right of conquest. For many years both Shaw- 
nees and Cherokees maintained against each other a bloody contest for 
its possession ; but being so nearly equal in strength and prowess, neither 
could gain any decided advantage over the other. At length both na- 
tions, fearing the results of a continuation of the conflict, refrained from 
going upon the lands between the Cumberland and the Kentucky and 
Ohio, for which reason this beautiful section of "^he country became an 
immense, luxuriant park, abounding in game of every kind perfectly safe 
from the arrows of the savages, who fearfully observed this as a neutral 
ground. When this great and unusual abundance of game became known 
to white hunters belonging to the English and French pioneers, they 
soon began to resort thither for the purpose of enriching themselves 
with the skins and furs of the bear, the deer, the otter and the mink, to 
to be S(^ easily and so plentifully obtained. Gen. Robertson learned that 
about a century and a half before his time the Shawanees had by degrees 
returned to the lauds on the Cumberland, were scattered to the west- 
ward as far as the Tennessee, and even considerably to the north. About 
the year 1710, being much harassed by the Cherokees, they came to the 
determination to permanently leave the country. 

The Chickasaws were at that time occupying the country to the south- 
west, in the western part of Tennessee and thenorthern part of Mississippi. 
According to their own tradition they came from west of the Mississippi. 
When about to start eastward from their ancient home they were provided 
with a large dog as a guard and a pole as a guide. The dog would give 
them warning of the approach of an enemy, to defend themselves against 
whom they could then prepare. The pole they set up in the ground 
every night, and the next morning they would look at it and go in the 
direction it leaned. They continued their journey thus until they crossed 
the Mississippi River, and until they arrived on the waters of the Ala- 
bama where Huntsville is now located. There the pole was unsettled for 
several days, but finally becoming steady it leaned in a northwest direc- 
tion, and in consequence they resumed their journey toward the north- 
west, planting the pole every night as before until they arrived at the 
place called " Chickasaw Old Fields," where the pole stood perfectly erect. 
All then came to the conclusion that they had reached the promised land. 
In this location they remained until 183.7 or 1838, when they migrated 
west of the State of Arkansas. 

When the pole was in its unsettled condition a part of the tribe moved 
on eastward and joined the Creeks. They always afterward declined the 
invitation to reunite with the majority of their tribe, but always remained 
friendly until they had intercourse with the whites. The great dog was 


lost in crossing the Mississippi, and the Chickasaws always believed that 
he fell into a large sink- hole and there remained. They said they could 
hear him howl at night, and so long as this continued whenever they took 
any scalps from an enemy they sent boys back with the scalps to throw 
to the doo-. In traveling from the West they have no recollection of hav- 
m<y crossed any large stream of water except the Mississippi. Upon leav- 
ino- the West they were informed they might look for white people, that 
these white people would come from the East, and that they were to be on 
their guard against them lest they should become contaminated Avith all 
the vices the whites possessed. 

The Shawanees, it is believed, came to this country about the year 
1650, and in 1710 or thereabouts, when they determined to leave it forever 
on account of the frequent harassments to which they were subjected by 
the Cherokees, the Chickasaws, for some reason which does not appear, 
united with the Cherokees, the hereditary enemies of the Shawanees, for 
the purpose of striking a decisive blow and thus making themselves mas- 
ters of the situation. In pursuance of this design a large body of C'hicka- 
saws repaired to the Cumberland just above the mouth of Harpeth, where 
they attacked the Shawanees, killed a large number of them and took from 
them all their property. The remnant of the tribe made their way north- 
ward as best they could. 

The claim of the Cherokees to the land north of the Cumberland was 
not considered as perfect even by themselves. This became apparent at 
the treaty of Fort Stanwix, which was made November 5, 1768. This 
treaty was made between Sir William Johnson, superintendent for north- 
ern Indian affairs, representing the King of Great Britain, and 3,200 
Indians of seventeen different tribes — the Six Nations, and tribes tribu- 
tary to that confederacy, or occupying territory contiguous to territory 
occupied by them. In this treaty the delegates of the respective na- 
tions aver that " they are the true and absolute proprietors of the 
lands thus ceded," and that for the consideration mentioned they con- 
tinued the line south to Cherokee or Hogohegee* River, because the same 
is and we declare it to be our true bounds with the southern Indians, 
and that we have aji undoubted right to the country as far south as 
that river.'* Some visiting Cherokees, who were present at the treaty, 
on their arrival at Fort Stanwix, having killed some game on the way 
for their support, tendered the skins to the Six Nations, saying, "they 
are yours, we killed them after j)assing the Big River,'' the name b}- 
which they ahvays called the Tennessee. By the treaty at Fort Stan- 
wix the right to the soil and sovereignty was vested in the king of 



Great Britain, and by the treaty of 1783 the king of Great Britain 
resigned liis sovereignty in the lands, and thus they became the property 
of those States within whose limits they happened then to be. 

While the Six Nations claimed the lands only by the right of con- 
quest, the Cherokees had long exercised the privilege of using them as 
a hunting ground, and naturally, therefore, regarded with jealousy the 
encroachments of the whites. John Stuart, superintendent of Southern 
Indian Affairs, was, therefore, instructed to assemble the southern In- 
dians for the purpose of establishing a boundary line with them, and 
concluded a treaty with the Cherokees at Hard Labour, S. C, October 
14, 1708. By this treaty it was agreed that the southwestern boundary 
of Virginia should be a line "extending from the point where the north- 
ern line of iNorth Carolina intersects the Cherokee hunting grounds, about 
thirty-six miles east of Long Island, on the Holston River, and thence 
extending in a direct course north by east to Chiswell's Mine, on the east 
bank of Kanawha River, and thence down that stream to its junction 
with the Ohio." 

Having thus traced the Iroquois and Shawanees to their departure 
from the State, the former by treaty with Great Britain, and the latter 
by expulsion by the Cherokees and Chickasaws, there now remain, to 
treat of in this chapter the Creeks — or as they were originally known, 
the Muscogees — the Choctaws and Chickasaws, the three leading tribes 
or nations of the Appalachian group, which in early Indian times, just 
previous to the dawn of history in this State, occupied Florida, Georgia, 
Alabama, Mississippi and the western part of Tennessee, and the Achal- 
aques or Cherokees, who ostensibly occupied Eastern and Middle Ten- 
nessee and small portions of Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky. 

Perhaps the earliest exploits of the Creeks and Cherokees desirable 
to mention in this work, were their alliances with the whites in 1711, 
about the time of the expulsion of the Shawanees from the Cumberland, 
when the Tuscaroras, Corees and other tribes combined for the extermin- 
ation of the settlers on the Roanoke, their attempt resulting in the 
massacre of 137 white people. The details of this disaster reaching 
Charleston, Gov. Craven sent Col. Barnwell with 600 militia and 400 
Indians went to the relief of the survivors, the 400 Indians consisting in 
part of Creeks and Cherokees. The Tuscaroras and Corees were sub- 
dued, the hostile portion of the former tribe migrated to the vicinity of 
Oneida Lake, and then became the sixth nation of the Iroquois Con- 

In about four years after the suppression of the Tuscaroras, all the 
Indian tribes from Florida to Cape Fear united in a confederacy for 


the destruction of the white settlements in Carolina. This confederacy 
was. composed of the Catawbas, Congarees, Creeks, Cherokees, and 
Tamassees. It is believed they were instigated to the course they pur- 
sued by the Spaniards, as they had just received guns and ammunition 
from St. Augustine. After spreading desolation and death for some time 
through the unsuspecting settlements, the confederacy was met by 
Gov. Craven at Salkehatchie, defeated and driven across the Savannah 

The French were at this time erecting forts in various parts of the- 
y'Southwest: Paducah at the mouth of the Cumberland; Assumption, on 
Chickasaw Bluff; besides others, and numerous trading posts on the 
Tennessee. The English and French colonists were each seeking to 
ingratiate themselves with the various Indian tribes with which they 
came in contact, with the view of attaching to themselves as many of 
the Indians as possible and of thus obtaining advantages the one 
over the other. In pursuance of this policy Gov. Nicholson, in 1721, 
invited the Cherokees to a general ccmference, in order to establish a 
treaty of commerce and friendship. In response to this invitation the 
chieftains of thirty-seven different towns attended the conference, at 
which Gov. Nicholson made them presents, laid off their boundaries, 
and appointed an agent to superintend their affairs. Similar measures 
were taken with the Creeks. In 1730 the projects of the French with 
reference to uniting Louisiana and Canada began to be more notice- 
ably developed. They had already made many friends among the 
Indians west of Carolina, and in order to counteract their influence 
Great Britain sent out Sir Alexander Cumming to treat with the 
Cherokees, who then occupied the lands about the head waters of the' 
Savannah Biver, and backward from the Appalachian chain of moun- 
tains. This tribe was then computed to consist of more than 20,000 
individuals, 6,000 of whom were warriors. Sir Alexander met the 
chiefs in April of the year last mentioned at Nequassee, all the towns 
sending in representatives or delegates. Nequassee was near the 
sources of the Hiwassee. A treaty of friendship, alliance and com- 
merce was drawn up and formally executed, in consequence of which a 
condition of peace and friendship continued to exist for some time be- 
tween the colonists and this tribe. Two years afterward Gov. Ogle- 
thorpe effected a treaty with the Lower and Upper Creeks, a powerful 
tribe then numbering in the aggregate abo\it 25,000 souls. These 
alliances with the Cherokees and Creeks promised security to the col- 
onists from the encroachments from tlie SpSinish and French in Florida 
and Louisiana. 


In 1740 the Cherokee Indians marked out a path from Augusta to 
their nation, so that horsemen could ride from Savannah to all the Indian 
nations. In 1750 a treaty was made by Col. Waddle and the chief, 
j^ ttakullakulla, in behalf of the Cherokee nation, in accordance with 
which Fort Dobbs was built about twenty miles from Salisbury, N. C, 
and near the Yadkin; but the Indians paid but little attention to the 
treaty, as they killed some people the next spring near the Catawba. In 
1755 Gov. Glenn, of South Carolina, met the Cherokee warriors and 
chiefs in their own country, and made a treaty with them at which a ces- 
sion of considerable territory was made to the King of Great Britain 
and deeds of conveyance formally executed in the name of the whole 
people. In 1756 the Earl of Loudon, commander of the King's troops 
in America, sent Andrew Lewis to erect a stone fort on the Tenhes^s'ee 
'River, at the head of navigation. It was erected about thirty miles from 
the present site of Knoxville, and was named Fort Loudon in honor 
of the Earl. This fort was garrisoned with about 200 men, the exis- 
tence of the fort and the presence of the troops giving great uneasiness 
to the Indians. In the spring of 1758 the settlement around Fort Lou- 
don, by the arrival of hunters and traders, soon grew into a thriving vil- 
lage. During this year the British captured Fort Du Quesne, the En- 
glish Army being commanded by Gen. Forbes, and immediately after its 
capitulation the name was changed to Fort Pitt, in honor of the great 
cominoner of England. In the army of Gen. Forbes were several Cher- 
okees, who had accompanied the provincial troops of North and South 
Carolina. The disaffection among the Cherokees already existing was 
unfortunately suddenly and largely increased by a serious occurrence in 
the back parts of Virginia. Returning home through this part of the 
country, the Cherokees, who had lost some horses on the expedition to 
Fort Du Quesne, stole such as they found running at large. This action 
of theirs was resented by the Virginians killing twelve or fifteen of the 
Cherokees, which ungracious conduct from allies whose frontier the 
Cherokees had aided to defend, at once aroused a spirit of resentment 
and revenge. The garrison of Fort Loudon, consisting of about 200 
men, under the command of Capts. Demere and Stuart, on account of 
its remoteness from white settlements, was the first to notice and suffer 
from the retaliatory proceedings of the Cherokees. Soldiers making ex- 
cursions into the woods to procure fresh supplies of provisions were 
attacked by the Indians, and some of them killed. From this time it 
became necessary for them to confine themselves within the narrow limits 
of the fort. The sources of their provisions being cut off, there seemed 
no prospect before them but famine and death. Parties of warriors 


rushed down upon the settlements along the border, and the work of 
massacre became general among the frontier settlements. 

After the fall of Fort Du Quesne, and the decline of the power of 
France in America, a fundamental change occurred in the relations of the 
northern Indian tribes to the French and English nations. The north- 
ern tribes had hitherto been allied to the French, but now the French, 
havino- been overcome by the English, it became necessary for them to 
transfer their allegiance to the English. But the southern tribes re- 
mained quiescent and relied for security on the power of the French. At 
this time the territory of the Cherokees extended from Fort Ninety-six on 
the Carolina frontier and Fort Prince George on the Keowee branch of 
the Savannah to the source of that river and across the Appalachian 
chain of mountains to and down the Cherokee or Tennessee River and its 
southern branches, a country replete with every resource required for 
the sustenance of savage life and customs. 

Gf)V. Lyttleton hearing of the investment of Fort Loudon, and of 
the oiitrages along the border, summoned the militia to assemble at Con- 
gar ee, for the purpose of chastising the enemy, but previous to assuming 
offensive measures, called together some of the head men of the nation 
and made with them a treaty, which after reciting reference to former 
treaties, which had been violated by the Indians, proceeded with com- 
mendable precision to rehearse grievances of a still later date, for all of 
which the Cherokees promised to make amend, and also promised good 
conduct for the future. Two of their own nation who had committed 
murders were actually delivered up, and the surrender of twenty more 
was promised, to be kept as hostages, until the same number of Indians 
guilty of murder, should be delivered up, and that the Cherokees should 
kill or take prisoner every Frenchman that should presume to come into 
the nation. This treaty was signed by AttakullakuUa and five other prin- 
cipal chiefs on the part of the Cherokees, and by Gov. Lyttleton. His 
purpose having been accomplislied, and peace restored as he supposed, 
the Governor returned to Charleston, and the Indians recommenced their 
depredations. It has been well said by a writer on American history, 
that the Indians are of such a nature that unless they feel the rod of 
chastisement, they cannot believe in the power to inflict it; and accord- 
ingly whenever they happen to be attacked unprepared they have resource 
to a treaty of peace as a subterfuge, in order to gain time to collect them- 
selves. Then without the least regard to the bonds of [)ublic faith, they 
renew their hostilities on the first opportunity. Possibly, however, there 
may be some little palliation for their perfidy with reference to this treaty 
with Gov. Lyttleton signed by the six Cherokees, when it is consid- 


ered that only this small number signed it, and that the treaty itself was 
not in accordance with the sentiments of the tribe. This became pain- 
fully evident immediately after the departure of the Governor from Fort 
Prince George and the dispersion of his army. Hostilities were at once 
renewed and fourteen whites killed within a mile of the fort. On the 
18th of February, 1760, the Cherokees assembled at the fort on the 
Keowee, and attempted to svirprise it. As the garrison was gazing at 
the forts ( ?) from the ramparts, a noted chief, Oconostota, approached 
and expressed a desire to speak to the commandant, Lieut. Coytmore, 
who agreed to meet him on the bank of the Keowee River, whither he 
was accompanied by Ensign Bell and the interpreter, Mr. Ooharty. Ocon- 
ostota said he wished to go down to see the Governor and requested that a 
white man be permitted to go with him. This request being acceded to 
he said to an Indian "Go and catch a horse for me." This was objected 
to, but the chief making a faint motion carelessly swung a bridle, which 
he held, three times around his head. This being a secret signal to men 
lying concealed, a volley was poured in which mortally wounded Coytmore, 
who received a ball in his breast, and inflicted deep flesh wounds on 

This treachery of Oconostota so aroused the indignation of Ensign 
Miln, commanding the garrison of the fort, that he determined to put the 
twenty hostages as well as the two murderers in irons ; but the first attempt 
to seize the assassins was so successfully resisted that the soldier deputed to 
effect it was instantly killed and another wounded. This so exasperated the 
garrison that they immediately put to death all the hostages. This act of 
retaliation was followed by a general invasion of the frontier of Carolina, 
and an indiscriminate slaughter of men, women and children. 

Measures were taken as soon as practicable to punish and restrain these 
excesses by collecting together a large force of men and sending them for- 
ward under Col. Montgomery for the Cherokee country. Such was the 
celerity of his movements that the Cherokees were taken completely by 
surprise. On the 26th of May he reached Fort Ninety-Six, and on June 1 
passed the twelve-mile branch of the Keowee. Four miles before reach- 
ing the town of Estatoe Col. Montgomery's attention was attracted by the 
barking of a dog about a quarter of a mile from the road, at a town called 
Little Keowee. He detached a force of soldiers to surround the town 
with instructions to kill the men, but to. spare the women and children, 
which instructions were obeyed, the main force proceeding on to Estatoe, 
a town of about 200 houses, well supplied with provisions and ammunition. 
Estatoe was reduced to ashes, and twelve of its warriors killed. Other 
towns were attacked in rapid succession, until every one in the lower 


nation had been visited and destroyed. About twenty of tlie Cherokees. 
were killed and forty taken prisoners, with a loss to Col. Montgomery of 
four soldiers killed and two officers wounded. 

Montgomery then returned to Fort Prince George, whence he sent out 
messengers inviting the Cherokees to sue for peace, and also sending word 
to Capts. Demere and Stuart, commanding at Fort Loudon, requesting 
them to obtain peace if possible with the Upper Towns. But hearing noth- 
ing from them he determined to penetrate to the Middle Towns. Start- 
ing on the 24th of June he marched with the same celerity three days, on 
the third day reaching Etchowee, Flntering the valley near this town the 
savages sprang from their lurking lair, fired upon the troops, killed Capt. 
Morrison and wounded a number of his men. A heavy firing sprang up on 
both sides and lasted about an hour, with the result of killing twenty-six 
and wounding seventy of Col. Montgomery's men. The loss to the Indians 
is not known, but the battle was not decisive, and Col. Montgomery, with 
such a large number of wounded men upon his hands, found it impractica- 
ble to proceed further, and so returned to Fort Prince George. 

Fort Loudon, by reason of its great distance from the seat of authority ' 
in North Carolina, was peculiarly exposed to the dangers of frontier war- 
fare. Its garrison was now reduced to the fearful alternative of starving 
to death or of submitting to the enraged Cherokees, as neither Virginia nor 
North Carolina was able to render any assistance. For an entire month 
they had been obliged to subsist on the flesh of lean dogs and horses and a 
small supply of Indian beans, stealthily procured for them by some 
friendly Cherokee women; Besieged night and day, and with no hope of 
succor, the garrison refused longer to be animated and encouraged to 
hold out by their officers, and threatened to leave the fort, take their 
chances of cutting through the forces of their savage besiegers, and, fail- 
ing, die at once rather than longer endure the slow, painful process of 
starvation. The commander therefore held a council of war, and the offi- 
cers all being of the opinion that it was impossible to hold out longer, 
agreed to surrender the fort to the Cherokees on the best terms that 
could be obtained. Capt. Stuart therefore obtained leave to go to Chota, 
where he obtained the following terms ol capitulation: 

That the garrison of Fort Loudoa march out with their arms and drums, each 
soldier having as much powder and ball as their officers shall think necessary for the 
march, and all the baggage they may choose to carry; that the garrison be permitted to 
march to Virginia or Fort Prince George as the commanding officer shall think proper, 
unmolested; that a number of Indians be appointed to escort them and hunt for provisions 
on the march ; that such soldiers as are lame, or are by sickness disabled from marching, 
be received into the Indian towns and kindly used until they recover, and then be allowed 
to return to Fort Prince George; that the Indians provide for the garrison as many horses 
as they conveniently can for the march, agreeing with the officers and soldiers for pay- 


ment; that the fort, great guns, powder, ball and spare arms be delivered to the Indians 
without fraud or dela\' on the day appointed for the march of the troops. 

In accordance with this stipulation the garrison marched out of the 
fort, with their arms, accompanied by Oconostota, Judd's friend, the 
prince of Chota, and several other Indians, and marched fifteen miles on 
the first day, encamping for the night on a plain about two miles from 
Tellico. At this place all their Indian attendants left them upon one 
pretext or another. This desertion was looked upon by the garrison as 
of a very suspicious nature, and hence a strong guard was placed around 
the camp. The next morning about daybreak, one of the guard came 
running into camp with the information that a vast number of Indians 
armed and painted in the most dreadful manner, were creeping up amon<y 
the bushes and preparing to surround the camp. Almost immediately 
the enfeebled and dispirited garrison was surrounded and a hea^y fii-e 
was opened upon them from all quarters, which they were powerless to 
resist. Capt. Demer^, three other officers and about twenty-six private 
soldiers fell at the first onset. Some fled to the woods, others were taken 
prisoners and confined in the towns of the valley. Capt. Stuart and some 
others were taken back to Fort Loudon. Attakullakalla, hearing of his 
friend Stuart's capture, immediately repaired to the fort, purchased him 
from his captors, took him to his own home, where he kept him until a 
favorable opportunity should offer for aiding him in his escape. The 
soldiers were after some time redeemed by the Province at great expense. 

While the prisoners were confined at Fort Loudon, Oconostota decided 
to make an attack upon Fort Prince George, and in the attack to employ 
the cannon and ammunition taken at Fort Loudon. The council at which 
this decision was made was held at Chota, Capt. Stuart being compelled 
to attend. The Captain was given to understand that he must accompany 
the expedition to Fort Prince George, and there assist in the reduction of 
the fort by manning the artillery for the Indians, and by beinor their 
enforced amanuensis in the correspondence with the fort. This prospect 
was so alarming to the Captain that he, from the moment of being made 
acquainted with the designs of the Cherokees with reference to himself, 
resolved to escape or perish in the attempt. He therefore privately 
communicated his purpose to his friend AttakuUakulla, and invoked his 
assistance to accomplish his release, which AttakuUakulla promptly 
pledged himself to give. Claiming Capt. Stuart as his prisoner, he 
announced to the other Indians his intention of going huntino- for 
a few days, and took the Captain with him. The utmost caution and 
celerity were required in order to prevent sui-prise from pursuit. Nine 
days and nights did they hasten on through the wilderness for Virginia, 

()8 irisTouy or Tennessee. 

Hhaping tlieir course by the sun and moon. On tlie tenth they fell in 
with M. party of ){()0 men at the hanks of! Holston River, sent out by Col. 
Bird for tho ruliel! of Fort Loudon. For his kindly ofliceH to Capt. Stuart 
Attakullakulla was loaded with provisions and presents, and sent back 
to prote(^t tlio oth(U- uiiliappy prisoners until such time as they could b(i 
ransomed, and to (ix(vrt his influence with his nation for tlie restoration of 

The success of the CherokSos at Fort Loudon and the fact of the bat- 
tle of Etchowee with Col. Moiitgomerj' l)eini^ indecisive, or perhaps rather 
boin<^ favorabh^ to the Indiajis, oidy sorvcil to stimulato tluur spirit of 
aggression ; but the French in Canada being now reduced it became mucli 
surer than hitlierto to send from the north a force ade(|[ua,te to tlie defense 
of tho southern provinces. In pursuance of this 2>olicy of defense against 
the warlike Indians, Col. Grant arrived at Charleston with the British 
regulars (Mirl)' in 1.7<)1, and in company with a, provincial regiment raised 
f(U* the ])nr])oso, marcluHl for tlu^ Ch(U"okeo country. Among the field 
oflicors of this regiment were Middlc^ton, Laurens, Moultrie, Marion, Hu- 
ger and Pickens. Col. (Ji-iuit arrived with his (Command at Fort Prince 
George May 27, 1701. Attakullakulla, hearing of the apjn-oacli of this 
formidabhi army, hastened to the camp of Col. Grant, and vainly ]>roposed 
terms of peacu^; but knowing too wt^ll tlni story of Cherokee perfidy, tlie 
Colonel was deterftiined on severer measures Hum a treaty, tlie terms of 
Avhich were so soon forgotten. A fierce battle Avas therefore fought near 
the town t)f Etchowee on the same ground where a year before Montgom- 
ery was practically defeated. The engagement raged three hours, until 
the perseverance and bravery of the soldiers expelled the Cherokees from 
the field. After tho battle their granaries and corn fields were destroyed, 
and their wretclunl fainilies driven to the barrc^u niountains. Tiieir Avar- 
like spirit was for a time subdued, a,nd af, ilu^ eai-nest solicitation of Atta- 
kullakulla, the old and fi-iendly chic^f, peace was once more restored and 
ratified. The peace which succeeded this victory over the Cherokees 
brought with it a remarkable increase of population and prosperity. 

In 17(57, upon the application of the Cherokee nation, and at the rec- 
ommendation of Gov. Ti-yon, an a[)[)lication was made by North Carc^lina 
for the running of a dividing line lu^tween the western settlements of the 
Province and the hunting grounds of the Cherokees, the tribe of Indians 
most closely identified with the history of Tennessee. They were a 
formidable tribe, both with regard to numbers and to warlike prowess. 
The early history of this State is fall of incidents illustrative of tlieir 
courageous, revengeful and perfidious spirit. It had been found impos- 
sible to reconcile them with the Tuscaroras. AVlien tlie attempt was 


made the Cherokees replied: " We can not live without war. Should we 
make peace with the Tuscaroras we must immediately look out for some 
other nation with whom ^ve may he euga<^ed in our l)eloved occupation." 
Animated by this sentiment they were constantly acting on the offensive. 
In the earlier ma[)S of the country the Tennessee River is called the 
Cherokee, as the Cumberland was early called the Shawanee, and similarly 
the name of this tribe was applied to the mountains near them, the word 
Currahee being only a corruption of Cherokee. They had almost uni- 
versally been conquerors in their wars with other nations, and their coji- 
tinued success made them arrogant, quarrelsome and defiant. About the 
year 1709 they took offense at the Chickasaws and made a hostile inva- 
sion of their country. At the Chickasaw Old Fields the inoffensive but 
brave Chickasaws met them with great spirit, the result being a sanguin- 
ary conflict and the total defeat of the Cherokees, who retired to their 
own village beyond the Cumberland and the Caney Fork. This defeat, 
occurring about the same time with the settlement on the Watauga, 
doubtless contributed much to the peaceful demeanor of the Indians to- 
ward that infant and feeble colony, and hence to its success. 

One of the institutions of most Indian tribes was tlie city of refuge, 
which, if a murderer or other criminal could once enter, Avas a sure pro- 
tection against punishment so long as he remained within its limits. 
Chota, five miles above the ruins of Fort Loudon was the city of refuge 
for the Cherokees. On a certain occasion an Englishman, after killing 
an Indian warrior in defense of his property, took refuge in Chota and 
found protection there so long as he chose to remain, but was warned 
that if he ventured outside some Cherokee would surely kill him on the 
first opportunity. How long he remained in Chota is not recorded, nor 
what was his fate upon leaving the beloved town. 

The Cherokees had a profound veneration for the relics of the Mound 
Builders, the origin of which, however, they knew nothing; but they 
considered them the vestiges of an ancient and numerous race, further 
advanced in the arts of civilized life than themselves. 

Early in 1772 the authorities of Virginia made a treaty with the 
Cherokees by which a boundary line was agreed upon, to run west from 
the White Top Mountain in northern latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes. 
Almost immediately aftf^-ward the Watauga leases were made, which are 
referred to in the ch.apter on settlement, and also that of Jacob Brown. 
In the fall of 1774 negotiations were commenced between Richard Hen- 
derson & Co. and the Cherokees, which terminated in March, 1775, the 
treaty being held at W^atauga. At this treaty two deeds were obtained — 
one known as the "Path Deed," and the other as the "Great Grant." 
The boundaries expressed in the Path Deed were as follows: 


"All that tract, territory, or parcel of land beginning on the Holston 
Hiver, where the course of Powell's Mountain strikes the same ; thence 
up the said river as it meanders to where the Virginia line crosses the 
same; thence westwardly along the line run by Donelson et. at to a 
point six English miles eastward of the Long Island in the said Holston 
River ; thence a direct course toward the mouth of the Great Kanawha, until 
it reaches the top of Powell's Mountain ; thence westwardly along the said 
ridge to the beginning." The Great Grant Deed contained the follow- 
ing boundaries: 

" All that tract, territory or parcel of land situated, lying and being in 
North America, on the Ohio River, one of the eastern branches of the 
Mississi])pi River, beginning on the said Ohio River, at the mouth of Ken- 
tucky, Cherokee or what is known by the English as the Louisa River; 
thence running up said river, and the most northwardly fork of the same 
to the head spring thereof; thence a southeast course to the ridge of 
Powell's Mountain; thence westwardly along the ridge of said mountain 
unto a point from which a northwest course will hit or strike the head 
spring of the most northwardly branch of Cumberland River; thence 
down the said river, including all its waters, to the Ohio River ; thence up 
the said river as it meanders to the beginning." 

These two purchases, or the treaty under which they were made, 
were repudiated by both North Carolina and Virginia, as being made by 
private individuals, the States themselves, however, claiming the benefit 
of the treaty. About the time of the commencement of negotiations be- 
tween Col. Henderson & Co. and the Cherokees, occurred the first 
battle with the Indians in which Tennessee troops were engaged. This 
was the battle of the Kanawha or Point Pleasant, on the Ohio River, and 
here they displayed that adventure and prowess which have so signally 
characterized them during all periods of the history of their State. The 
tribes of Indians engaged in the work of destruction and massacre 
on the Virginia frontier were the Shawanees and other northern and west- 
ern tribes. Lord Dunmore took immediate and vigorous measures to 
repress the hostilities and punish the audacity of the enemy. Four reg- 
iments of militia and volunteers under Gen. Andrew Lewis, who built 
Fort Loudon, were ordered to march down the Great Kanawha to the Ohio. 
While on the march down the Great Kanawha, or, as it is called now, the 
New River, Gen. Lewis was joined by Capt. Evan Shelby, who had 
raised a company of upward of fifty men for the expedition in what are 
now Sullivan and Carter Counties. The entire army reached and en- 
camped upon the present site of Point Pleasant, on the 6tli of October. 
Early on the morning of the 10th the camp was attacked by a large body 


of Indians, and a sanguinary battle ensued which lasted the entire day, 
but which by skillful maneuvering and courageous fighting terminated 
in the evening in a total rout of the Indians, in their precipitate flight 
across the Ohio, and their return to their towns on the Scioto. The loss 
of the Indians in this hard and well-fought battle appears not to have 
been ascertained, but that of Gen. Lewis was twelve commissioned offi- 
cers killed or wounded, seventy -five non-commissioned officers killed and 
141 wounded. 

Capt. Evan Shelby's company consisted of the following persons: 
James Robertson, Valentine Sevier and John Sawyer were three of the 
orderly sergeants ; James Shelby, John Fiudley, Henry Sparr, Daniel 
Mungle, Frederick Mungle, John "Williams, John Comack, Andrew Tor- 
rence, George Brooks, Isaac Newland, Abram Newland, George Buddie, 
Emanuel Shoutt, Abram Bogard, Peter Forney, AVilliam Tucker, John 
Fain, Samuel Fain, Samuel Vance, Samuel Hamlley, Samuel Samples, 
Arthur Blackburn, Robert Handley, George Armstrong, William Casey, 
Mack Williams, John Stewart, Conrad Nave, Richard Burk, John Riley, 
Elijah Robertson, Rees Price, Richard Halliway, Jarret Williams, Julius 
Robinson, Charles Fielder, Benjamin Graham, Andrew Goff, Hugh 
O'Gullion, Patrick St. Lawrence, James Hughey, John Bradley, Basileel 
Maywell and Barnett O'Gulliou. 

After the battle of Point Pleasant a treaty was made between the 
Indians and Lord Dunmore, by which they relinquished all their claims 
to lands north of tlie Ohio River, and by the treaty with Henderson & 
Co. the Cherokees relinquished all their claim to the land lying between 
the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers : hence this immense tract of maornifi- 
cent country was at that time entirely fi-ee from Indian occupants as 

Previous to the conclusion of the Henderson Treaty, a remarkable 
speech was made by Oconostota, a Cherokee chief, whose name has oc- 
curred heretofore in this history. Oconostota had fought for the reten- 
tion of the country by his own people and was now opposed to the treaty, 
and though his speech was listened to with profound attention and all 
the respect due to so venerable an orator, yet its counsels were not 
heeded, and the cession was made. In the liglit of subsequent events, 
however, it can scarcely be said that the cession was unwise, notwith- 
standing the eloquence and prophetic nature of the speech of Oconostota, 
for had not the cession been made in March, 1775, it would have been 
made at a later time and at the close of a more or less protracted 
and sanguinary struggle. In his speech Oconostota reminded his audi- 
tory of the once floui'ishing cojiditiou of his nation, of the continual en- 


croachments of the white people upon the consequently continually re- 
tiring Indian nations, who had been compelled to leave the homes of their 
ancestors to satisfy the insatiable greed of the white people. It was at 
one time hoped that these white people would not be willing to travel 
beyond the mountains, but now that fallacious hope had vanished, and 
the Cherokee lands were fast being absorbed and usurped, and the at- 
tempt was now being made to have those usurpations confirmed by a 
treaty in which the Cherokees would sign their own rights away, after 
the accomplishment of which the same encroaching spirit would again 
lead them upon other Cherokee lands, until finally the entire country 
which the Cherokees and their forefathers had occupied for so many 
centuries would be required, and the Cherokee nation once so great and 
formidable, reduced to a small remnant, would be compelled to seek a 
retreat in some far distant wilderness, there to dwell but a short time 
when the same greedy host would again approach with their banners of 
civilization, and unable to point out any further retreat for the Cherokees 
to seek, would proclaim the extinction of the whole race. The close of 
this oration was a strong appeal to his people to run all risks rather than 
consent to any further diminution of their territory. 

But when accomplished this treaty, like so many others, failed to sat- 
isfy a large portion of the Cherokee nation, and in the year 1776 they 
made great preparations for an attack on the settlements on the Watauga 
and Holston. Indications of these preparations became more and more 
evident and numerous. Jarret Williams and Robert Dews, two traders 
among them, from observations they had made arrived independently of 
each other at the conclusion that an exterminating war had been deter- 
mined upon. Evidence was also discovered that the Cherokees had been 
so influenced as to be ready to massacre all the back settlers of Carolina 
and Georgia. The commencement of the Cherokee hostility was the 
killing of two men named Boyd and Doggett, after the former of whom 
Boyd's Creek in Sevier County was named. John Stuart, superinten- 
dent of southern Indian affairs, instructed ])y the British War Depart- 
ment, dispatched orders to his deputies resident among the different tribes, 
to carry into effect the desires of the Government. Alexander Cameron, 
agent for the Cherokee nation, upon receipt of his instructions, lost no 
time in convening the chiefs and warriors; and notwithstanding efforts 
were made by the Americans to counteract his intrigues, Cameron was 
successful in enlisting the sympathies and assistance of a majority of the 
head men and warriors of the tribe. A formidable invasion was planned 
by the Cherokees, which would doulStless have been harassing and de- 
structive in the extreme but for the opportune assistance of Nancy Ward. 


who has been named the " Pocahontas of the West," and who, allied to 
Home of the leading chiefs, obtained information of their plan of attack 
and immediately thereupon communicated this information to Isaac 
Thomas, a trader, her friend and a true American. Mr. Thomas without 
delay proceeded to the committee of safety in Virginia, which adopted 
such measures as were practicable for the defense of the frontier. 

The plan of attack by the Cherokees upon the settlements was for 
one division of the Indians under "Dragging Canoe" to fall upon the 
Holston settlement, and another division under "Old Abraham" to fall 
upon Watauga. These divisions were to consist of 350 men each. 
•Dragging Canoe's" division was defeated in a "miracle of a battle" at 
Heaton's Station near Long Island, in which the Indians lost upward of 
forty in killed and the settlers, only five wounded, all of whom recovered. 
Among the wounded was John Findley, who was supposed by Collins and 
by Ramsey not to have been heard of after the attack on Boone's camp 
in 17(39. " Old Abraham " with his forces made the attack on the fort 
at Watauga, where Capt. James Robertson was in command. Capt. John 
Sevier was also present, and although the attack was made with great 
vigor the defense was successful and the Indians were driven oif with 
considerable loss. It was during this siege that occurred the following 
romantic incident: As the Indians approached the fort they appear to 
have taken by surprise, and almost suiTounded, Miss Catharine Sherrill, 
who, discovering her danger just in time, started for the fort. She was a 
young woman, tall and erect of stature and fleet of foot as the roe. In 
her flight she was closely pursued, and as she approached the gate she 
found other Indians in her way, doubtless confident of a captive or of a 
victim to their guns and arrows. But turning suddenly she eluded her 
pursuers and leaped the palisades at another point, falling into the arms 
of Capt. John Sevier. In a few years after this sudden leap into the 
arms of the captain she became the devoted wife of the colonel, and the 
bosom companion of the general, the governor, the people's man and the 
patriot, John Sevier, and finally the mother of ten children, who could 
rise up and call her blessed. 

Another incident not less romantic but of quite a different character 
connected with this attack upon Fort Watauga, is worthy of commemora- 
tion. No one in the fort was wounded, but Mrs. Bean was captured near 
Watauga, and taken a prisoner to the station camp of the Indians over 
the Nollichucky. After being questioned by the Indians as to the num- 
ber and strength of ^ the forts occupied by the white people, she was con- 
demned to death, bound and taken to the top of one of the mounds to be 
burned. It was a custom wdth the Cherokees to assign to a certain 


woman the office of declaring what punishment should be inflicted upon 
great offenders, whether for instance, burning or other death, or whether 
they should be pardoned. The woman so distinguished was called the 
"beloved" or "pretty woman." At the time Mrs, Bean was condemned 
to death Mrs. Nancy "Ward was exercising the functions of the " pretty 
woman," and the question of carrying into execution the sentence against 
Mrs. Bean being referred to Mrs. Ward, she pronounced her pardon. 

A division of the Cherokees. (other than those commanded by Old 
Abraham and Dragging Canoe), commanded by Eaven, made a detour 
across the country with the intention of falling upon the frontier in Car- 
ter's Valley. Coming up the Holston to the lowest station, the Raven 
heard of the repulse at Watauga and of the bloody defeat at Long Island 
Flats, and hence retreated to his own towns. A fourth party of Indians 
fell upon the inhabitants scattered along the valley of Clinch River, and 
carried fire, devastation and massacre to the remotest cabin on Clinch, and 
to the Seven Mile Ford in Virginia, William Creswell, whose numer- 
ous descendants now live in Blount and Sevier Counties, was among the 

This, as has been previously said, was about the time of the com- 
mencement of the Revolutionary war, and the hostilities of and invasion 
by the Cherokees were imputed to the instigation of British officers. The 
details of the conspiracy were traced to a concerted plan of Gen. Gage 
and John Stuart, the superintendent of Indian affairs for the southern 
district. The evidence appears conclusive that Mr. Stuart was engaged 
in arousing the resentment and in stimulating the bad passions of the sav- 
ages against the Americans who were struggling against aggression, and 
attempting to vindicate the rights of freemen. The plan of Gen. Gage 
and Mr. Stuart was to send a large body of men to west Florida, to pene- 
trate through the country of the Creeks, Cherokees and Chickasaws, and 
induce the warriors of those nations to join the body, and with this large 
force of British and Indian soldiers, invade the Carolinas and Virginia. 
But after the repulse of Peter Parker in the harbor of Charleston, prep- 
arations were immediately made by the colonists to march with an im- 
posing force upon the Cherokees, who at that time occupied, as places of 
residence or hunting grounds, the country west and north of the upper 
settlements in Georg-ia, west of the Carolinas and southwest of Virginia. 
Their country was known by three great geographical divisions, as the Lower 
Towns, having 350 warriors ; the Middle Settlements, having 878 warriors ;' 
and the Overhill Towns, having 757 warriors — a total of 1,991 warriors. 

Col. McBury and Maj. Jack, from Georgia, entered the Indian settle- 
ments on Tugalo, defeated the Indians, and destroyed their towns on 


that river. Geu. Williamson, of Soutli Carolina, early in July was at the 
head of 1,150 men, in command of whom he encountered and defeated a 
large body of Esseneca Indians at Oconowee, destroyed their towns and 
a large amount of provisions. Burning Sugaw Town, Soconee, Keowee, 
Octatoy, Tugalo and Braso Town, he proceeded against Tomassee, Che- 
hokee and Eusturtee, at which latter place, observing a trail of the 
enemy, he made pursuit, overtook and vanquished 300 of their warriors, 
and destroyed the three last named towns. In the meantime North 
Carolina had raised an army under Gen. Rutherford, who, in concert 
with Col. Williamson and Col. Martin Armstrong, marched upon the 
Indians and fought an engagement with them at Cowhee Mountain, in 
which but one white man was killed. How many of the Indians were 
killed is not known, as the survivors carried off their dead. From Cowhee 
Mountain the army under Gen. Rutherford marched to the Middle Towns 
on the Tennessee River, expecting there to form a junction with Gen. 
Williamson. After waiting a few days they left here a strong guard 
and marched on to the Hiwassee towns, but all the towns were found 
evacuated, the warriors evidently not desiring to meet the troops under 
Gen. Rutherford. Few Indians were killed and few taken prisoners, but 
the toMais were burned and the buildings, crops and stock of the enemy 
very generally destroyed, leaving them in a starving condition. In this 
expedition of Gen. Rutherford from thirty to forty Cherokee towns were 
destroyed. The route pursued by this army has since been known as 
"Rutherford's Trace." While these movements were in progress ai> 
army under CoL_William Christian, of Virginia, was marching .into the 
heart of the Cherokee country to avenge the ravages of that nation on the 
settlements on the Watauga, Holston and Clinch. By the 1st of August 
several companies had assembled at the place of rendezvous, the Great 
Island of Holston. Soon afterward Col. Christian was re-enforced by 
about 400 North Carolina militia under Col. Joseph Williams, Col. Love 
and Maj. Winston. This entire army took up its march for the Chero- 
kee towns, about 200 miles distant. Crossing the Holston at Great 
Island they marched eight miles and encamped at Double Springs, on the 
head waters of Lick Creek. Here the army was joined by a force from 
Watauga, by which its strength was augmented to 1,800 men, armed with 
rifles, tomahawks, and butcher knives, all infantry except one company 
of light horse. Sixteen spies were sent forward to the French Broad, 
across which the Indians had boasted no white man should go. At the 
encampment that night, near the mouth of Lick Creek, Alexander Hardin 
informed Col. Christian that at the French Broad were assembled 3,000 
Indians prepared to dispute his passage. Hardin was ordered into camp 


with the spies, who, at the head of the Nollichucky, found the camps or 
the enemy deserted, but affording evidence that the Indians were in the 
neighborhood in large numbers. Col. Christian sent Hardin forward to 
inform the Indians that he would cross not only the French Broad, but 
also the Tennessee before he returned. As they came down Dumplin 
Creek they were met by a trader named Fallen with a flag of truce, of 
whom no notice was taken, in consequence of which he returned imme- 
diately and informed the Indians that the whites, as numerous as the 
trees of the forest, were marching into their country. 

Having arrived at the river Col. Christian ordered every mess to 
build a good fire and make such preparations as would lead the Indians 
to think that he intended to remain there several days. During the 
night a large detachment, under great difficulties, crossed the river near 
where Brabson's mill afterward stood and passed up the river on its 
southern bank. Next morning, when the main army crossed the river 
near the Big Island, marching forward in order of battle, they momentar- 
ily expected an attack from the Indians, but, to their surprise, found no 
trace of even a recent camp. It was afterward learned that after the 
departure of Fallen to meet Col. Christian with his flag of truce, an- 
other trader, by the name of Starr, who was in the Indian encampment, 
made a very earnest speech to the Indians, saying to them in effect that 
the Great Spirit had made the one race of white clay and the other of red; 
that he intended the former to conquer the latter ; that the pale face 
would certainly overcome the red man and occupy his country ; that it was 
useless, .therefore, to resist the onward movements of the white man, and 
advised an immediate abandonment of their purpose of defense, as that 
could only result in defeat. A retreat was made at once to their villages 
and to the fastnesses of the mountains. The next morning the army 
under Col. Christian resumed its march along the valley of Boyd's 
Creek, and down EUejoy to Little River, thence to the Tennessee, and on 
the march not an Indian was to be seen, but it was expected that on the 
opposite side of the Tennessee a formidable resistance would be made. 
Here also they were disappointed, for crossing the Little Tennessee they 
took possession of a town called Tamotlee, above the mouth of Tellico 
E-iver, and encamped in the deserted village. Next morning Great Island 
was taken without resistance, a panic having seized the Cherokee warriors, 
not one of whom could be found. But they were not for this reason to go 
unpunished. Their deserted towns and villages were burned and laid 
waste, as Neowee, Tellico and Chilhowee and others. Occasionally a sol- 
itary warrior was seen making his way from one town to another, but 
no one was taken prisoner. Such towns, however, as were known not to 


James Robertson 


have consented to hostilities, as Chota, were not destroyed. This course 
was pursued by Col. Christian to convince the Indians, the Cherokees, 
that he was at war only with enemies. Sending out a few men with flags 
of truce requesting a talk with the chiefs, six or seven of them imme- 
diately came in, and in a few days several others came forward and pi-o- 
posed a cessation of hostilities. This was granted to take elBPect when a 
treaty should be made with the whole tribe, which was to assemble the 
succeeding May on Long Island. A suspension of hostilities followed, 
applicable to all the Cherokee towns but two, which were high up in the 
mountains on Tennessee River. These were reduced to ashes because 
they had burned a prisoner named Moore, taken some time previously 
near Watauga. Col. Christian's troops, having conquered a peace, re- 
turned to the settlement. 

But a part of the Cherokee nation was still hostile, panted for revenge 
and resolved not to participate in the comtemplated treaty. However 
two separate treaties were made, one at Dewitt's Corner, between the In- 
dians and commissioners from South Carolina; the other at Long Island, 
between several chiefs of the Overhill Towns, and Col. Christian and Col. 
Evan Shelby, commissioners from Virginia, and Waightstill Avery, Jo- 
seph Winston and Robert Lanier from North Carolina. By the former 
large cessions of territory were made on the Saluda and Savannah Rivers, 
and by the latter Brown's line was agreed upon as the boundary between 
the Indians and the settlements, and the Cherokees released lands as low 
down the Holston River as the mouth of Cloud's Creek, but the Chicka- 
maugas refused to join in the treaty. At this treaty, made at Fort Hen- 
ry, on the Holston River, near Long Island, July 20, 1777, between 
North Carolina and the Overhill Indians, the following among other ar- 
ticles were agreed upon: 

Article I. That hostilities shall forever cease between the said Cherokees and the peo- 
ple of North Carolina from this time forward, and that peace, friendship and mutual 
confidence shall ensue. 

By the second article all prisoners and property were to be delivered 
up to the agent to be appointed to reside among the Cherokees, and by 
the third article no white man was permitted to reside in or pass through 
the Overhill towns without a certificate signed by three justices of the 
peace of North Carolina, or Washington County, Va., the certificate 
to be approved by the agent. Any person violating this article was to be 
apprehended by the Cherokees and delivered to the said agent, whom 
they were to assist in conducting such person to the nearest justice of 
the peace for adequate punishment, and the Cherokees were authorized 
to apply to their own use the effects of such person so trespassing. Ar- 



tide fourth provided for the punishment of murderers, both Indians and 
white men, and article fifth defined the boundary line as follows : 

" That the boundary line between the State of North Carolina and the 
said Overhill Cherokees shall forever hereafter be and remain as follows : 
Beginning at a point in the dividing line which during this treaty hath been 
agreed upon between the said Overhill Cherokees and the State of Vir- 
ginia, where the line between that State and North Carolina, hereafter to 
be extended, shall cross or intersect the same ; running thence a right 
line to the north bank of Holston River at the mouth of Cloud's Creek, be- 
ing the second creek below the Warrior's Ford at the mouth of Carter's 
Valley ; thence a right line to the highest point of a mountain called the 
High Rock or Chimney Top; thence a right line to the mouth of Camp 
Creek, otherwise called McNamee's Creek on the south bank of NoUi- 
chucky River, about ten miles or thereabouts, below the mouth of Great 
Limestone, be the same more or less, and from the mouth of Camp Creek 
aforesaid, a southeast course into the mountains which divide the hunting 
grounds of the Middle Settlements from those of the Overhill Cherokees. 
And the said Overhill Cherokees, in behalf of themselves, their heirs and 
successors, do hereby freely in open treaty, acknowledge and confess that 
all the lands to the east, northeast and southeast of the said line, and ly- 
ing south of the said line of Virginia, at any time heretofore claimed by 
the said Overhill Cherokees, do of right now belong to the State of North 
Carolina, and the said subscribing chiefs, in behalf of the said Overhill 
Cherokees, their heirs and successors, do hereby in open treaty, now and 
forever, relinquish and give up to the said State, and forever quit claim 
all right, title, claim and demand of, in and to the land comprehended in 
the State of North Carolina, by the line aforesaid." 

This treaty was signed by AVaightstill Avery, William Sharpe, Rob- 
ert Lanier and Joseph Winston, on the part of North Carolina, and by 
the following chiefs and warriors, each one making his mark: Oconostota, 
The Old Tassel, The Raven, Willanawaw, Ootosseteh, Attusah, Abram 
of Chilhowee, Rollowch, Toostooh, Amoyali, Oostossetih, Tillehaweh. 
Queeleekah, Annakelinjah, Annacekah, Skeahtukah, AttakullakuUa, 
Ookoonekah, Kataquilla, Tuskasah and Sunnewauh. Witnesses, Jacob 
Womack, James Robins, John Reed, Isaac Bledsoe, Brice Martin and 
John Kearns. Interpreter, Joseph Vann. 

The negotiations and details of this treaty of Holston, which com- 
menced on the 30th of June and was concluded on the 20th of July, are 
of unusual interest, but too numerous and requiring too much space to be 
introduced into this work. And while much was hoped from the friendly 
and yielding disposition of the large number of chiefs and warriors in 


attendance, yet as some distinguished chiefs were absent, peace and tran- 
quility could not be considered as absolutely assured before the views 
and intentions of these absent chiefs were known. Judge Friend, the 
Dragging Canoe, the Lying Fish and Young Tassel were among the 
absent ones. Dragging Canoe was chief of the Chickamaugas, who 
remained dissatisfied in part, at least, as the result of British intrigue. 
In order to counteract so far as practicable the iulluence of the British 
agents, Gov. Caswell directed that a superintendent of Indian affairs 
reside among them, and the North Carolina commissioners appointed 
Capt. James Robertson to that important position. Capt. Robertson car- 
ried, as a present from Gov. Caswell, a dog to the Raven of Chota, pro- 
posing and hoping for peace. Swanucah and some of the more aged chiefs 
were disposed to peace, but they were unable to suppress the warlike 
spirit of the Dragging Canoe and his hostile tribe. 

Some years previous to the time at which we have now arrived cer- 
tain families from West Virginia, desiring to reach west Florida, built 
boats on the Holston, and following that stream and the Tennessee 
reached the lower Mississippi by water. They were obliged to employ 
Indians and Indian traders as guides. Occasionally a boat was wrecked 
between the Chickamauga towns and the lower end of the Muscle Shoals, 
and then its crew became an easy prey to the Indians whose settlements 
were extending along the "rapids from year to yean The Chickamaugas 
were the first to settle in this locality, and usually failed to attend treaties 
of peace held by other portions of the Cherokee nations, and hence did 
not consider themselves bound by treaty stipulations entered into by the 
other portions of the nation. Leaving their towns near Chickamauga 
they moved lower down and laid the foundations of the five lower towns — 
Running Water, Nickajack, Long Island Village, Crow Town and Look 
Out. These towns soon became populous and the most formidable part 
of the Cherokee nation. Here congregated the worst men from all the 
Indian tribes, and also numerous depraved white men, all of whom for a 
number of years constituted the " Barbary Powers of the West.." They 
were a band of reckless, lawless banditti of more than 1,000 warriors. 
Having refused the terms of peace proffered by Col. Christian, having 
committed numerous atrocities upon the frontier, and being the central 
point from which marauding expeditions radiated for murderous and all 
criminal purposes, it was determined to invade their country and destroy 
their towns. A strong force was therefore ordered into the field by Vir- 
ginia and North Carolina under the command of Col. Evan Shelby, 
whose name is familiar to all Tennesseans in connection with the defense 
of the pioneers against the savages. Col. Shelby's force consisted of 


1,000 volunteers from these two States, and a regiment of twelve months' 
men under Col. John Montgomery, this regiment having been raised as 
a re-enforcement to Gen. George Rogers Clarke in his expedition to Kas- 
kaskia, Vincennes, etc., but was temporarily diverted from that purpose 
to assist in the reduction of the Chickamaugas. This expedition was fitted 
out on the individual responsibility of Isaac Shelby. The army rendez- 
voused at the mouth of Big Creek, a few miles above the present location 
of Rogersville. From this rendezvous, having made canoes and pirogues, 
the troops descended the Holston as rapidly as possible, and reaching the 
Chickamauga towns took them completely by surprise. Upon discover- 
ing the approach of Col. Shelby's command the Indians fled in all direc- 
tions to the woods and mountains without giving battle, pursued by 
Shelby, and losing in killed at the hands of his command upward of forty 
of their warriors, most of their towns being destroyed, and about 20,000 
bushels of corn being captured. They also lost about $20,000 worth of 
stores and goods. This success of Col. Shelby was very fortunate, as it 
prevented Gov. Hamilton, of Canada, from forming a grand coalition of 
all the northern and southern Indians, to be aided by British regulars in 
a combined attack upon the settlers on the western waters. 

After the battle of King's Mountain, in which Tennessee officers and 
soldiers bore such an honorable and conspicuous part, Col. John 
Sevier became apprehensive of an outbreak from the Cherokees, in the 
absence of so many men and arms, and sent home Capt. Russell to 
guard the frontier settlers. Information was brought in by two traders, 
Thomas and Harlin, that a large body of Indians was on the march to as- 
sail the frontier, but before the attack was made Col. Sevier himself, 
Avith his vigorous troops, arrived at home in time to assist in repelling the 
attacks of the Indians. Without losing any time Sevier set on foot 
an offensive expedition against the Cherokees, putting himself at the 
head of about 100 men and setting out in advance of the other troops. 
Coming upon a body of Indians he pursued them across French Broad 
to Boyd's Creek, near which he drew on an attack by the Indians. Se- 
vier's command was divided into three divisions — the center under Col. 
Sevier, the right wing under Maj. Jesse Walton, and the left wing 
under Maj. Jonathan Tipton. The victory won here by Sevier was de- 
cisive. The Indians lost twenty-eight in killed and many wounded, who 
escaped being taken prisoners. Of the white troops none were killed 
and only three seriously wounded. This rapid expedition saved the fron- 
tier from a bloody invasion, as the Indian force which he thus broke up 
was large and well armed. 

A few days after this repulse of the enemy Col. Sevier's little 


army was re-enforced by the arrival of Col. Arthur Campbell with his 
regiment from Virginia and by Maj. Martin with his troops from Sulli- 
van Cou.nty. He then had at his command a body of about 700 mounted 
men. With this force he crossed Little Tennessee three miles below 
Chota, while the main body of the Indians were lying in wait for him at 
the ford one mile below Chota. The Indians were so disconcerted by his 
crossing at the lower ford instead of at the upper, and so overawed by the 
imposing array of so large a body of cavalry, that they made no attack, 
but instead, upon his approach, hastily retreated and escaped. The 
troops pushed on to Chota and proceeded to reduce Chilhowee, eight miles 
above. Every town between the Little Tennessee and the Hiwassee was 
reduced to ashes. The only white man killed in this expedition was Capt. 
Elliott, of Sullivan County. Near to Hiwassee, after it was burned, 
an Indian warrior was captured, and by him a message was sent to the 
Cherokees proposing terms of peace. At Tellico the army was met by 
Watts and Noonday who were ready to make terms. After passing 
Hiwassee Town the army continued its march southwardly until it came 
near the Chickamauga, or Look Out Towns, where they encamped, and 
next day marching into them found them deserted. They proceeded 
down the Coosa to the long leafed or yellow pine and cypress swamp, 
where they began an indiscriminate destruction of towns, houses, grain 
and stock, the Indians fleeing precipitately before them. Returning to 
Chota they held a council with the Cherokees which lasted two days. A 
peace was here agreed upon, after which the army, crossing near the 
mouth of Nine Mile Creek, returned home. 

The Cherokees, notwithstanding their repeated failures and chastise- 
ments, were still unable to repress their deep passion for war and glory 
and strong love of country, which continued to further aggression and 
hostility. They still prowled around the remote settlements committing 
theft and murder. Col. Sevier, therefore, in March, 1781, collected to- 
gether 130 men and marched with them against the Middle Settlements 
of the Cherokees, taking by surprise the town of Tuckasejah, on the head 
waters of Little Tennessee. Fifty warriors were slain, and fifty women and 
children taken prisoners. About twenty towns and all the grain and corn 
that could be found were burned. The Indians of the Middle Towns were 
surprised and panic stricken, and consequently made but a feeble resist- 
ance. During the summer a party of Cherokees invaded the settlements 
then forming on Indian Creek ; and Gen. Sevier, with a force of 100 men, 
marched from Washington County, crossed Nollichucky, proceeded to 
near the site of the present town of Newport, on French Broad, crossed 
that river, and also the Big Pigeon, and unexpectedly fell upon the trail 


of the Indians, surrounded their camp, and by a sudden fire killed seven- 
teen of them, the rest escaping. This was on Indian Creek, now in Jeffer- 
son County. 

In the spring of 1782 settlements were formed south of the French 
Broad. Of this intrusion the Cherokees complained, and Gov. Martin 
wrote to Col. Sevier in reference thereto, asking him to prevent the en- 
croachments complained of, and to warn the intruders off the lands re- 
served to the Indians, and if they did not move off according to warning he 
was to go forth with a body of militia and pull down every cabin and 
drive them off, "laying aside every consideration of their entreaties to 
the contrary." 

Notwithstanding the efforts of a part of the Cherokee nation in the in- 
terest of peace, it continued impossible to restrain the majority of the 
warriors. They could plainly see that the white man was steadily en- 
croaching upon their hunting grounds and reservations, and that there 
was no remedy, at least there was no remedy but war. Treaty lines were 
but a feeble barrier against the expansive force of the settlements. Unless 
this feeble barrier could be made as strong as the famous Chinese wall, 
and as the Raven expressed it at the treaty of Holston, be as "a wall to 
the skies." it would not be out of the power of the people to pass it; and 
so long as it was not out of their power to pass it it served only as a tem- 
porary check upon their advance, and as a means of tantalizing the red 
proprietors of the soil into a false sense of security of possession, of rais- 
ing his hopes of retaining the beautiful and beloved home of his ances- 
tors, only to dash them cruelly to the ground in a few short weeks or 
months at most. Even the Indians most peacefully disposed complained 
that there was no line drawn according to promise in former treaties 
which should serve as a boundary between the two races. However, in 
May, 1783, the western boundary of North Carolina was fixed by the 
Legislature of that State as follows : 

"Beginning on the line which divides this State from Virginia, at a 
point due north of the mouth of Cloud's Creek; running thence west to 
the Mississippi ; thence down the Mississippi to the thirty-fifth degree of 
north latitude ; thence due east until it strikes the Appalachian Moun- 
tains ; thence with the Appalachian Mountains to the ridge that divides 
the waters of the French Broad River and the waters of the Nollichucky 
River ; and with that ridge until it strikes the line described in the act of 
1778, commonly called Brown's Line; and with that line and those sev- 
eral water-courses to the beginning." 

There was reserved, however, a tract for the Cherokee hunting 
grounds as folloM^s: 


"•Begiiiiiing at tlie Tennessee River where the southern boundary of 
North Carolina intersects the same, nearest the Chickamauga Towns; 
thence up the middle of the Tennessee and Holston Rivers to the middle 
of French Broad River, which lines are not to include any islands in said 
river, to the mouth of Big Pigeon River ; thence up the same to the head 
thereof; thence along the dividing ridge between the waters of Pigeon 
River and Tuskejah River to the southern boundary of this State." 

About this time occurred the unfortunate killing of Untoola, or Gun 
Rod of Citico, a Cherokee chief, known to the whites as Butler. It was 
when attempts were being made to revive peaceful relations between the 
white and Indian populations. The aged and wise among the Cherokees 
could clearly see the futility of continuing hostilities with the whites, 
and their councils had at length prevailed over the inconsiderateness and 
rashness of the young men and warriors. But Butler was one of the 
<ihiefs who was opposed to peace, and when he heard of the presence of 
Col. James Hubbard ami a fellow soldier, who were in the Cherokee 
country for the purpose of trafficking for corn and other necessities, he, 
in company with a brave who still adhered to his fortunes, went forth to 
meet Col. Hubbard, against whom, according to Indian ideas of honor, 
he had special reasons for enmity, and attempted to put him out of the 
way. After meeting Hubbard, and maneuvering for some time to gain 
the advantage of position. Butler suddenly, and as quick as lightning, 
raised his gun and fired upon Col. Hubbard, the ball passing between 
his head and ear, grazing the skin and slightly stunning him ; Butler and 
his attendant brave suddenly tiarned their horses' heads and galloped rap- 
idly away. Recovering himself Col. Hubbard seized his rifle, which he 
had leaned against a tree for the purpose of convincing Butler of his 
peaceful intentions, fired upon him when at a distance of about eighty 
yards, hitting him in the back and bringing him to the ground. Ap- 
proaching the wounded Indian hard words passed between the two, and 
at length Col. Hubbard, unable to loncjer bear the taunts and insults of 
Butler, clubbed his gun and killed him at a single blow. The companion 
of Butler, inadvertently jDermitted to escape, carried the news of Butler's 
death and the manner of it to the Cherokee nation, and they in retalia- 
tion committed many acts of revenge and cruelty, notwithstanding Gov. 
Martin made every reasonable efPx)rt to preserve the peace. The Gover- 
nor was informed that Col. Hubbard had killed Untoola, or Butler, with- 
out any provocation, and sent a conciliatory "talk" to the Cherokees. 
He also sent a letter to Gen. Sevier informing him that he had given 
directions for the apprehension of Hubbard and his retention in jail until 
such time as a trial should be obtainable. 


Besides the killing of Butler tlie Clierokees had other causes for dis- 
satisfaction. The limits set by the Franklin treaties had not been, be- 
cause they could not be, observed by the settlers. The consequences of 
these continual encroachments was that it was thought necessary by Con- 
gress that a treaty should be held under the authority of the United 
States. In order to hold and establish such a treaty Benjamin Hawkins, 
Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin and Lachlin Mcintosh were appointed 
government commissioners. By these commissioners the chiefs of the 
respective towns were invited to a conference at Hopewell on the Keowee 
in South Carolina. This treaty of Hopewell was concluded November 
28, 1785. By it the boundary which had been the chief cause of com- 
plaint by the Indians was made to conform very nearly to the lines of the 
deed to Henderson & Co. and the treaty of Holston in 1777. The fourth 
article of this treaty fixing the boundary was as follows: 

Article 4. The boundary allotted to the Cherokees for tlieir hunting grounds be- 
tween the said Indians and the citizens of the United States within the limits of the Unit- 
ed States of America is, and sliall be the following, viz. : Beginning at the mouth of Duck 
River on the Tennessee; thence running northeast to the ridge dividing the waters running 
into Cumberland from those running into the Tennessee'; thence eastwardly along the said 
ridge to a northeast line to be run which shall strike the river Cumberland forty miles 
above Nashville; thence along the said line to the river; thence up the said river to 
the ford where the Kentucky road crosses the river; thence to Campbell's line near the 
Cumberland Gap; thence to the mouth of Cloud's Creek on Holston (River); thence to the 
Chimney-top Mountain; thence to Camp Creek near the mouth of Big Limestone on Nol - 
lichucky; thence a southerly course six miles to a mountain; thence south to the North 
Carolina line; thence to the South Carolina Indian boundary and along the same south- 
west over the top of the Oconee Mountain till it shall strike Tugalo River; thence a direct 
line to the top of the Currahee Mountain; thence to the head of the south fork of Oconee 

It was also provided in the articles of treaty that if any citizen of the 
United States should settle within the above described Indian domain, 
and would not remove within six months after the conclusion of the 
treaty, he should forfeit all rights of protection from the Government; 
and it was further provided that all Indians committing murders or other 
crimes should be surrendered to the authorities of the Government for 
trial, and all white persons committing crimes against the Indians should 
be punished as if such crimes had been committed against white citizens ; 
that the United States had the sole right of regulating trade with the In- 
dians ; that the Indians should have the right to send a deputy to Con- 
gress; that the punishment of the innocent under the idea of relaliation 
was unjust and should not be practiced by either party, and that the 
hatchet should be forever buried and friendship be universal. The wit- 
nesses who signed the articles were William Blount, Maj. Samuel Tay- 
lor, John Owen, Jesse Walton, Capt. John Cowan. Thomas Gregg, W. 


Hazzartl, James Maclisou (iiitrepreter), and Arthur Coody (interpre- 
ter). The Indians were represented by the following chiefs, who made 
their marks to the articles : Koatohee, or Corn Tassel, of Toquo ; Scho- 
lanetta, or Hanging Man of Chota; Tuskegatahue, or Long Fellow, of 
Chistohee ; Ooskwha, or Abraham, of Chilhowee ; Kolacnsta, or Prince, of 
North; Newota, or th6 Gritz, of Chickamauga; Konatota, or the Rising 
Fawn, of Hiwassee; Tuckasee, or Young Terrapin, of Ellejoy; Toosta- 
ka, or the Waker, of Oostanawa; Untoola, or Gun Rod, of Citico; Unsuo- 
kanil, or Buffalo White Calf, ''New Cussee;" Kostayeck, or Sharp Fel- 
low, Watauga; Chonosta, or Cowe; Cheskoonhoo, or Bird in Close, of 
Tomotlee ; Tuckassee, or Terrapin, of Hightower ; Chesetoah, or ■ the 
Babbit, of Flacoa; Chesecotetona, or Yellow Bird, of the Pine Log; 
Sketaloska, or Second Man, of Tellico; Chokasatabe, or Chickasaw Kil- 
ler, Tosonta; Onanoota, of Koosoati; Ookoseeta, or Sour Mush, of Kool- 
oque ; Umatooetha, of Lookout Mountain ; Tulco, or Tom, of Chatauga ; 
Will, of Akoha ; Necatee, of Sawta ; Amokontakona, or Kutcloa ; Kowetata- 
bee, of Frog Town ; Keukuch, of Talkoa ; Tulatiska, of Choway ; Wooa- 
looka, the Waylayer, of Chota ; Tatlausta, or Porpoise, of Talassee ; John, 
of Little Tellico ; Skeleelack ; Akonalucta, the Cabin ; Cheanoka, of Kawe- 
takac, and Yellow Bird. 

This treaty was signed with great unanimity by the chiefs of the 
Cherokees, as well it might be considering what they gained. A 
glance at the map of the State will show that the United States com- 
missioners set aside the treaty made by North Carolina in that State 
(if that can be called a treaty in which the Indians had no voice) so 
far as to recede to the Cherokees nearly all of the territory in this State 
between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers except that north of the 
mouth of Duck River. The surrender of this territory was made to con- 
ciliate the Cherokees, but it failed of permanent influence for peace, and 
gave great dissatisfaction to the border settlers, whose boundaries were 
thereby very much contracted. William Blount, then in Congress from 
North Carolina, gave it all the opposition in his power, arguing that Con- 
gress had no authority to make a treaty which was repugnant to the laws 
of North Carolina concerning lands within her limits. 

This view, however, seems not to have obtained in Congress, for with- 
in three months from the time of the conclusion of this treaty with the 
Cherokees, a treaty was concluded January 10, 1786, between the same 
commissioners, with the exception of Mr. Mcintosh, and the Chickasaw 
nation, by which their boundaries were for the first time definitely fixed. 
The following were the boundaries established between the Chickasaws 
and the United States: 


Begiuaing on the ridge that divides the waters ruaaing into the Cumberland from 
those running into the Tennessee, at a point on a line to be run northeast, which shall 
strike the Tennessee at the mouth of Duck River; thence running westerly along the said 
ridge till it shall strike the Ohio; thence down the southern banks thereof to the Missis- 
sippi; thence down the same to the Choctaw line of Natchez district; thence along the said 
line to the line of the district eastwardly as far as the Chickasaws claimed and lived and 
hunted on November 29, 1783; thence the said boundary eastwardly shall be the lands al- 
lotted to tlie Choctaws and Cherokees to live and hunt on and the lands at present in the 
possession of the Creeks, saving and reserving for the establishment of a trading post a tract 
or parcel of land to be laid out at the lower post of the Muscle Shoals at the mouth of Oco- 
chappo, in a circle, the diameter of which shall be five miles on the said river, which post 
and the lands annexed thereto, shall be to the use and under the Government of the Unit- 
ed States of America. 

The usual provisions concerning prisoners, criminals, stolen lior^s, 
Indian trade, etc., were established. This treaty was signed by Benja- 
min Hawkins, Andrew Pickens and Joseph Martin, commissioners on 
the part of the United States, and by Piomingo, head warrior and first 
minister of the Chickasaw nation; Mingatushka, one of the leading 
chiefs, and Latopoya, first beloved man of the nation. Not long after 
the conclusion of the treaty of Hopewell with the Cherokees, an attack 
was made by some Indians belonging to this nation on some settlers on 
the Holston. Mr. Biram's house was attacked and two men killed. A 
few of the settlers hastily erected temporary defenses, while the others 
fell back upon the settlements above. To again check these atrocities. 
Gen. Sevier adopted the policy so frequently pursued by him with 
salutary effect, viz. : that of suddenly penetrating with a strong force in- 
to the heart of the Cherokee country. This invasion of Gen. Sevier 
resulted in the killing of fifteen warriors and of the burning of the val- 
ley towns, and although the pursuit from motives of military expediency 
was abandoned, yet it had the effect of preventing aggressions for some 
considerable time. Yet further measures of conciliation were not con- 
sidered unwise by either North Carolina or the State of Franklin which 
had been in operation about two years. The former State sent Col. 
Joseph Martin into the Cherokee nation on a tour of observation. Col. 
Martin on his return wrote Gov. Caswell, May 11, 1786, to the effect 
that affairs were not yet by any means in a settled condition, that two or 
three parties of Cherokees had been out on an expedition to secure satis- 
faction for the murder, by a Mr. McClure and some others, of four of their 
young men ; that these parties had returned with fifteen scalps and were 
satisfied to remain at peace if the whites were, but if they wanted war 
they could have all of that they might want ; that there were great prepar- 
ations making among the Creeks, instigated as he believed by the 
French and Spaniards for an expedition against the settlers on the Cum- 


Gov. Sevier, in order if possible to maintain peace between his State 
and the Indians, appointed commissioners to negotiate another treaty 
with the Cherokees, the commissioners being William Cocke, Alexander 
Outtaw, Samuel Wear, Henry Conway and Thomas Ingle. Negotiations 
were begun at Chota Ford July 31. 1786, and concluded at Coyatee 
August 3. The chiefs who conducted the negotiations were Old Tassel 
and Hanging Maw. The proposition made to the Indians was that if the 
Cherokees would .give up the murderers among them, return the stolen 
horses, and permit the whites to settle on the north side of the Tennessee 
and Holston, lis they intended to do at any rate, the whites would live at 
pSace with them and be friends and brothers. The land claimed in this 
treaty was the island in the Tennessee at the mouth of the Holston, and 
from the head of the island to the dividing ridge between Holston, Little 
Eiver and Tennessee to the Blue Ridge and the lands sold to them by 
North Carolina on the north side of the Tennessee. These terms were 
agreed to and the treaty signed by the two chiefs named above. 

During the existence of the State of Franklin the Cherokees were 
comparatively quiet, having a wholesome dread of the courage and ability 
of Gov. Sevier ; but with the fall of the Franklin government they began 
again to manifest a desire to renew hostilities, and an Indian invasion 
was regarded as imminent. Messengers were therefore sent to Gen. 
Sevier, who was in the eastern part of the Tv^rritory, who, after his fail- 
ure at the siege at Tipton's house, was immediately himself again, and at the 
head of a body of mounted men upon the frontier ready, as of old to guard 
and protect its most defenseless points. On July 8. 1788, Gen. Sevier and 
James Hubbert, one of his old Franklin officers, issued an address to the 
inhabitants in general recommending that every station be on its guard, 
and also that every good man that could be spared report to Maj. Hous- 
ton's station to repel the enemy if possible. 

Just before Gen. Sevier started out on this expedition a most atro- 
cious massacre occurred of the family of a Mr. Kirk, who lived about 
twelve miles from Knoxville, on the southwest side of Little River. 
During the absence of Mr. Kirk from home, an Indian named Slim Tom, 
who was well known to the family, approached the house and asked for 
something to eat. After being supplied he withdrew, but soon returned 
with a party of Indians, who fell upon and massacred the entire family, 
leaving them dead in the yard. Not long afterward Mr. Kirk returned, 
and, seeing the horrible condition of his dead family, immediately gave 
the alarm to the neighborhood. The militia, under command of Sevier, 
assembled to the number of several hundred, and severely punished the 
Indians in several portions of the Territory, though they generally fled 


before the troops to tlie mountains. A friendly Indian by the name of 
Abraham lived with his son on the south side of the Tennessee. When 
th^ troops came to the south side of the river opposite Abraham's hovise, 
they sent for him and his son to cross over to them, and afterward Abra- 
ham was sent to bring in the Tassel and another Indian, that a talk 
might be held with them, a flag of truce being also displayed to assure 
the Indians of their peaceful intentions. The Indians, when they had 
crossed the river under these conditions and assurances, were put into a 
house. Gen. Sevier being absent on business connected with his com- 
mand, young Kirk, a son of the man whose family had just before been • 
massacred, was permitted to enter the house with tomahawk in hand, ac- 
companied by Hubbard. There Kirk struck his tomahawk into the head 
of one of the Indians, who fell dead at his feet, the troops looking in 
through the window upon the deed. The other Indians, five or six in 
number, immediately understood the fate in store for them, and bowing 
their heads and casting their eyes to the ground, each in turn received 
the tomahawk as had the first, and all fell dead at the feet of young 
Kirk, the avenger. Thus was committed an act as base and treacherous 
as any ever committed by the red man. Gen. Sevier returning, learned 
of the commission of this crime, saw at a glance wdiat must be the inevita- 
ble effects of the rash act, and remonstrated with young Kirk for the 
cruel part he had played, but was answered by him that if he (Sevier) 
had suffered at the hands of the murderous Indians as he had done, he 
would have acted in the same way. Kirk was sustained by a number of 
the troops, and Sevier was obliged to overlook the flagitious deed. 

The massacre of Kirk's family was followed by that of many others. 
A man named English was killed near Bean's Station, and also James 
Kirkpatrick. Some were killed near Bull Run, others north of Knox- 
ville, and many others on the roads to Kentucky and West Tennessee. 
Capt. John Fayne, with some enlisted men, and Capt. Stewart, who had 
been sent to Houston's Station, were sent out to reconnoiter the adjacent 
country. They crossed the Tennessee and entered an apple orchard to 
gather some fruit. Some Indians lying in wait suffered them to march 
into the orchard without molestation, and then while they were gathering 
the fruit fell upon them and drove them into the river, killing sixteen, 
wounding four and taking one prisoner. This massacre occurred near a 
town named Citico. The killed were afterward found by Capt. Evans, 
horribly mutilated, and by him buried. The war was continued for sev- 
eral weeks with success to the south of the Tennessee, and finally the 
troops returned home. 

The events above narrated mainly occurred in the eastern part of this 



State. An attempt will now be made to relate as succinctly as may be, 
and yet with a sujficiency of detail, similar events that had been for some 
years simultaneously occurring upon the Cumberland. The proximity 
of the Chickasaws to the settlements on the Cumberland had been cause 
for serious apprehension ; yet, notwithstanding this, the i&rst attack upon 
them was made by the Creeks and Cherokees. This was in the year 
1780, and was made, not by a large force of Indians in battle array, but 
by small parties upon individuals or small parties of white men. In 
April of that year the Indians killed an elder and younger Milliken, Jo- 
seph Bernard, Jonathan Jennings, Ned Carver and William Neely, all 
in the vicinity of Nashville; at Eaton's Station, James Mayfield; at 
Mansker's Lick, Jesse Ballentine, John Shockley, David Goin and Risby 
Kennedy; at Bledsoe's Lick, William Johnson; at Freeland's Station, D. 
Larimer, and near Nashville, Isaac Lefevre, Solomon Phillips, Samuel 
Murray and Bartlett Benfroe. About this time occurred the massacre 
at Battle Creek, in Robertson County, recited in detail in the history of 
that county. The Indians engaged in this massacre were Chickasaws, and 
the reason given by them for its commission was that Gen. George 
Rogers Clarke had that year built Fort Jefferson, eighteen miles below 
the mouth of the Ohio, on the east side of the Mississippi. All the ter- 
ritory west of the Tennessee River they claimed, and they were especially 
offended at Gen. Clarke's intrusion, upon which they became the allies of 
the English. Isolated cases of murder were numerous for years in these 
settlements, the names of the killed being generally reserved for insertion 
in the histories of the counties in which the murders occurred, in order 
to avoid unnecessary repetition. In April, 1781, a determined attack 
was made by a numerous body of Cherokees on the fort at the Bluff, and 
nineteen horsemen, who sallied forth to drive them off, were defeated 
with a loss of seven killed, four wounded and some of their horses stolen. 
At this battle occurred the famous onset of the dogs upon the Indians, 
an anomaly in warfare, and which enabled nearly all of those not killed 
to regain the fort in safety. Mrs. Robertson, who directed the guard to 
let slip the dogs, pertinently remarked that the Indians' fear of dogs and 
love of horses proved the salvation of the whites on this occasion. In 
1782 John Tucker, Joseph Hendricks and David Hood were fired upon 
at the French Lick. The first two, though wounded, escaped through 
the assistance of their friends. David Hood was shot down, scalped, 
stamped upon and left by the Indians for dead, in their chase after 
Tucker and Hendricks. Hood, supposing the Indians had gone, slowly 
picked himself up and began to walk toward the fort, but to his disap- 
pointment and dismay he saw the same Indians just before him making 



sport of his misfortunes and mistake. Tliey then made a second attack 
upon him, inflicting other apparently mortal wounds, and again left him 
for dead. He fell in a brush heap in the snow, where he lay all night. 
The next morning being found by his blood he was taken home and 
placed in an outhouse for dead, but to the surprise of all he revived and 
lived for many years. 

The continuance, frequency and savageuess of these depredations led 
many of the people on the Cumberland to seriously consider the propri- 
ety of breaking up the settlements and going away to Kentucky, or to 
some place where it was hoped they might live in peace. Gen. Robert- 
sou earnestly opposed the plan, as it was impossible to get to Kentucky, 
and equally so to reach the settlements on the Holston. The only plan 
which contained an element of practicability was to go down the river to 
Illinois, and even to the execution of this plan there seemed insuperable 
obstacles, the principal one being to build the boats. This could not be 
done without timber; the timber was standing in the woods, and the 
woods were full of Indians. 

In 1783, after further ravages by the Chickasaws, Gen. Robertson ob- 
tained a cession from them by which they relinquished to North Carolina 
a region of country extending nearly forty miles south of the Cumber- 
land to the ridge dividing the tributaries of that stream from those of 
the Duck and Elk Rivers. This cession, however, did not cause inva- 
sions and murders to cease. Instigated by the Spaniards at a conference 
held at Walnut Hills, they returned to the settlements evidently with the 
renewed determination to kill as many of the settlers as possible. In 
order to neutralize the influence of the Spaniards Gen. Robertson opened a 
correspondence with one of the Spanish agents, a Mr. Portell, in which a 
mutual desire to live at peace was expressed ; but the letters which passed 
between Gen. Robertson and Mr. Portell had apparently but little if any 
effect upon the minds of the Indians, whose depredations were continued 
through the year 1785. In 1786 was made the treaty of Hopewell with 
the Chickasaws, as mentioned and inserted above, by which immigration 
to the Cumberland was greatly encouraged and increased. 

In 1787 Indian atrocities continued as numerous as before, and it 
became necessary for Gen. Robertson to imitate the tactics of Gen. 
Sevier, viz. : To carry offensive operations into tlie heart of the enemy's 
country. For this purpose a force of 130 men volunteered, of whom Gen. 
Ptobertson took command, assisted by Col. Robert Hays and Col. James 
Ford. At the head of this force he marched against the Indian villao-e 
of Coldwater, with two Chickasaw Indians as guides. Arriving within 
ten miles of the Muscle Shoals he sent forward some of his most active 



soldiers with one of the Chickasaw guides to reconnoiter. At 12 
next day they struck the river at the lower end of the Muscle Shoals, and 
concealed themselves until night. After a futile attempt to capture some 
Indians it was determined to cross the Tennessee River that night. The 
soldiers who had been sent forward with the guide swam the river and 
went up on the opposite bank to the cabins of an Indian village, which 
they found empty, and securing a canoe returned to the main body on 
the north side of the river. On account of the leaky condition of the 
canoe it was impossible to get across the river before daylight next morn- 
ing. A heavy rain coming on forced the men into the cabins until it 
was over, and when the clouds cleared away they followed a well beaten 
path leading toward the west. At the distance of aliout sis miles they 
came to Coldwater Creek, upon the opposite side of which was a number 
of cabins built upon low ground. The people of this village were sur- 
prised by this sudden invasion and fled precipitately to their boats pur- 
sued by such of the men as had crossed the creek. This town was 
occupied by the Creeks, some French traders and a white woman. In 
the attack upon the Indians twenty-six of the Creek warriors were killed, 
as were also the three Frenchmen and the white woman. A largfe 
quantity of stores was secured in the town, and afterward the town itself 
was burned down and the domestic animals destroyed. Each of the 
Chickasaw Indian guides was presented with a horse, a gun and as many 
blankets and clothes as his horse could carry, and sent home. After dis- 
posing of the prisoners and goods, most of the latter being taken to 
Eaton's Station, sold, and the proceeds distributed among the soldiers, 
the soldiers were disbanded on the nineteenth day after setting out on 
the expedition. This invasion of the Creek country was of great benefit 
to the Cumberland settlement, as it gave them peace and quiet for a con- 
siderable time, and discovered to them the sources whence the Indians 
were obtaining their supplies. But it was not entirely without disastrous, 
or at least threateningly disastrous, consequences. David Hay, of Nash- 
ville, attempted to carry on simultaneously, a campaign by water against 
the same Indians, with the view of assisting Gen. Robertson's men, both 
in their warfare and in respect to supplying them with provisions in case 
they should be detained longer away from home than was anticipated, 
but unfortunately his company was led into an ambush, was attacked by 
the Indians and was obliged to return. Gen. Robertson's campaign came 
very near involving him in difliculties with the French, who were carrying 
on trade with the Indians from the Wabash up the Tennessee. 

The cessation of hostilities procured by Gen. Robertson's Coldwater 
campaign was of but temporary duration. Capt. John Rains, a vigilant 


and intrepid Indian fighter, made three successful campaigns against the 
Indians, and similar expeditions were made by others in every direction 
throuo-hdut the country. In 1788 the hostilities which still continued were 
committed by the Creek warriors, still under the malign influence of the 
Spaniards. As no settlements had been made on territory claimed by that 
nation, and as no acts of bffensive war had been committed against Span- 
ish colonies, it was determined to inquire into the reason for their insti- 
gation of these incursions upon the 'settlers. Gen. Robertson and Col. 
Anthony Bledsoe, therefore, addressed a joint letter to the celebrated 
ao-ent of the Creeks, McGilvery. To this communication the agent re- 
plied that the Creeks, in common with other southern Indians had adhered 
to the British interests during the late war, that after peace was declared 
he had accepted proposals for friendship by the settlers, and that while 
these negotiations were pending, six of his nation were killed at Coldwater 
and their death had given rise to a violent clamor for revenge, and that 
the late expeditions by the Creeks had been undertaken for that purpose. 
But now as the affair at Coldwater had been amply retaliated he would 
use his best endeavors for peace. Immediately afterward, however, hos- 
tilities were renewed and Col. Anthony Bledsoe killed at the fort of his 
brother Isaac at Bledsoe's Lick. At this time North Carolina was unable 
to assist her western settlements even had she been so disposed, and in 
their extremity it became absolutely necessary for Gen. Robertson to 
forget the murder of his friend Anthony Bledsoe, and to bring into play 
all the arts of diplomacy of which he was possessed in ord^r to soothe the 
savage breast and to beget in him a peaceful, or at least a less warlike 
disposition. Dissembling the resentment which the cruel murder of his 
friend must have caused him to feel, he wrote to McGilvery acknowl- 
edging the satisfaction caused by the receipt of his letter, seemed to exten- 
uate the recent aggressions of the Creeks upon the settlers, and stated 
that he had caused a deed for a lot in Nashville to be recorded in his 
name. To another letter from the Creek chief he replied that the Cum- 
berland settlers were not the people who had made encroachments upon 
Creek territory, and stated that the people of the Cumberland only 
claimed the land which the Cherokees had sold to Col. Hudson in 1775, etc. 

The right to the lands of the Lower Cumberland was claimed by the 
Chickasaws rather than by the Cherokees at the time of the Revolu- 
tionary war. Prior to that time the former tribe lived north of the 
Tennessee and about fifty miles lower down that stream than the Lower 
(Cherokee) Towns. They ceded the Cumberland lands in 1782 or 1783 at 
the treaty held by Donelson and Martin. 

In 1786 commissioners were appointed by Congress to treat with the 


Cherokees and other southern tribes. These commissioners say in their 
report to Richard Henry Lee, president of Congress, " that there are 
some few people settled on the Indian lands whom we are to remove, and 
those in the fork of French Broad and Holston being numerous, the 
Indians agree to refer their particular situation to Congress and abide by 
their decision." Although these persons had settled contrary to treaty 
stipulations entered into by Virginia and North Carolina in 1777, yet 
they were too numerous to order off, hence the necessity of obtaining the 
consent of the Cherokees to refer the matter to Congress. The same re- 
port furnishes an estimate of the number of warriors of the nations of 
Indians living south of the Tennessee and in reach of the advanced set- 
tlements which was as follows: Cherokees, 2,000; Creeks, 5,400; Chicka- 
saws, 800 ; Choctaws, 6,000 — ^^total number, 14,200, besides remnants of the 
Shawanees, Uchees and other tribes. That this number of warriors was 
not able with the assistance of northern tribes to crush out the settle- 
ments in what is now Tennessee in that early day is very remarkable, 
but is doubtless due in part to determination and courage of the whites. 

The year 1788 was distinguished by the unfortunate attempt of Col. 
James Brown to reach Nashville by the Tennessee, Ohio and Cumberland 
Rivers, related at such length in the chapter on settlements as to only need 
brief mention here in chronological order. The same year was distin- 
guished by the campaign against the Cherokees, by the attack on Sher- 
rell's and Gillespie's Stations. 

During the administration of Gov. Blount the policy of conciliation 
was persistently followed in obedience to instructions and proclamations 
from the President of the United States, Gen. Washington. An earnest 
attempt was made by both the authorities of the United States, and of 
the " Territory of the United States south of the river Ohio," to enforce 
treaty stipulations, but notwithstanding all that was or could be done by 
both Governments, both Indians and whites disregarded and violated all 
the treaties they should have observed. And while it was thus demon- 
strated and had been from the signing of the first treaty, that treaties 
were only a temporary make-shift, or subterfuge, yet both Nation and State 
kept on making treaty after treaty with the various tribes of Indians. 

In obedience to this treaty-making spirit another treaty was con- 
cluded July 2, 1791, at the treaty ground on the bank of Holston River, 
near the mouth of the French Broad, between the Cherokees of the one 
part and William Blount, governor in and for the "Territory of the 
United States of America south of the river Ohio," and superintendent 
of Indian affairs for the southern district, of the other part, whereby the 
following boundary between the lands of the two parties was established: 


Article 4. The boundary between the citizens of the United States and the Cherokee- 
nation is and shall be as follows: Beginning at the top of the Currahee Mountain where 
the Creek line passes it; thence a direct line to Tugelo River; thence northwest 
to the Occunna Mountain, and over the same along the South Carolina Indian bound- 
ary to the North Carolina boundary; thence north to a point from which a line 
is to be extended to the river Clinch that shall pass the Holston at the ridge which 
divides the waters running into Little River from those running into the Tennessee; 
thence up the river Clinch to Campbell's line, and along the same to the top of the Cum- 
berland Mountain; thence a direct line to the Cumberland River where the Kentucky 
road crosses it; thence down the Cumberland River to a point from which a southwest 
line will strike the ridge which divides the waters of Cumberland from those of 
Duck River, forty miles above Nashville; thence down the said ridge to a point from 
whence a southwest line will strike the mouth of Duck River, 

It was agreed that all land lying to the right of this boundary, be- 
ginning at Currahee Mountain, should belong to the United States ; and 
as a further consideration the Government stipulated to pay the Chero- 
kees an annuity of $1,000, which was increased later by an additional ar- 
ticle to $1,500. All prisoners were to be surrendered, criminals pun- 
ished, whites settling on Indian lands to be denied the protection of the 
Government, whites to be granted the navigation of the Tennessee and to 
be permitted to use a road between Washington and Mero Districts, the 
Indians to be furnished with implements of husbandry, etc., etc. The 
witnesses signing this treaty were Daniel Smith, secretary of the Terri- 
tory of the United States south of the river Ohio; Thomas Kennedy, of 
Kentucky ; James Robertson, of Mero District ; Claiborne Watkins, of Vir- 
ginia ; John McWhitney, of Georgia ; Fauche, of Georgia ; Titus Ogden, 
of North Carolina; John Chisholm, of Washington District; Robert 
King and Thomas Gregg. The official and sworn interpreters were John 
Thompson and James Ceery. Forty-one chiefs of the Cherokee nation 
were the contracting party for the Indians. The additional article of the 
treaty, which provided that $1,500 instead of $1,000 should be annually 
paid to the Cherokees, was agreed to between Henry Knox, Secretary of 
War, and seven chiefs, February 17, 1792. 

In 1793 a force of 1,000 Indians, 700 of them Creeks, the rest Chero- 
kees, under the lead of John Watts and Double Head, 100 of the Creeks 
being well mounted horsemen, invaded the settlements with the view of 
attacking Knoxville, but failing to surprise the citizens they abandoned 
their contemplated attack upon the town. Falling back they found it 
impossible to leave the country without carrying out in some degree their 
revengeful purposes, and so made an attack on Cavett's Station. Here after 
suffering a temporary repulse they proposed that if the station would 
surrender they would spare the lives of the inmates and exchange them 
for an equal number of Indian prisoners. Relying upon these promises 
the inmates of the station surrendered, but no sooner had they passed 


the door tliau Double Head and liis party fell upon them and put them to 
death, anc^ most horribly, barbarously and indelicately mutilated their 
bodies, especially those of the women and children. 

This daring invasion by the Creeks and Cherokees, under 'the cele- 
brated chief John Watts, convinced the Federal and also the Territorial 
authorities that defensive warfare was of but little if any use in prevent- 
ing Indian invasions. The people themselves had long been convinced 
of this fact, and earnestly desired a return to the tactics of Gen. Sevier. 
A sudden and decisive blow was loudly called for as the only means of 
punishment for the Indians and of defense for the settlements. Gen. 
Sevier was once more the man to lead in a campaign of this kind. His- 
little army then at Ish's was re-enforced by troops under Col. John 
Blair for Washington District and Col. Christian for Hamilton Dis- 
trict, and with these forces Gen. Sevier made his last campaign against 
the Indians. Crossing Little Tennessee, near Lowry's Ferry he came 
to an Indian town named Estinaula, and suffered a night attack from 
the Indians with the loss of one man wounded. Breaking camp in the 
night he went on toward Etowah, which place he succeeded in capturing 
after overcoming a determined resistance by the Indians under the com- 
mand of King Fisher, who, however, fell in the engagement. After be- 
ing defeated the Indians escaped into the secret recesses of the surround- 
ing country, and Gen. Sevier having burned the town and becoming, 
satisfied that further pursuit would not meet with results commensurate 
with the exertion demanded, countermarched and the troops returned 
safely to their homes. Thus terminated the last campaign of Sevier, and 
the first for which he received compensation from the Government. In 
this campaign he lost three brave men, Pruett and Weir killed in the 
battle, and Wallace mortally wounded. 

A treaty was concluded at Philadelphia between Henry Knox, Secre- 
tary of War, and thirteen chiefs of the Cherokees, on the 26th of June, 
1794, to set at rest certain misunderstandings concerning the provisions 
of the treaty of Holston of July 2, 1791. It was declared that the treaty 
of Holston should in all particulars be valid and binding, and that the 
boundary line then established should be accurately defined and marked. 
In lieu of the annuity of $1,000 granted by the treaty, of Holston in 

1791, or the annuity of $1,500 granted by the treaty of Philadelphia in 

1792, the Government at this treaty of 1791 agreed to pay the annual 
sum of $5,000 to the Cherokees. This treaty was attended by thirteen 
Cherokee chiefs. John Thompson and Arthur Coody were the official in- 
terpreters. The boundary provided in these treaties was not ascertained 
and marked until the latter part of 1797, by reason of which delay sev- 


eral settlements of wliite people were established upon the Indian domain. 
These settlers were removed by authority of the Governmeiit, and two 
commissioners, George "Walton, of Georgia, and Lieut. -Col. Thomas 
Butler, commander of the troops of the United States in the State of 
Tennessee, were appointed to adjust the mutual claims and rights of the 
white settlers and the Indians. These commissioners met thirty-nine 
authorized Cherokee " chief s, representing the "whole Cherokee nation," 
in the council house of the Indians near Tellico, October 2, 1798, and the 
following provisions, in substance, were mutually agreed to: The former 
boundaries were to remain the same with the following exception: The 
Cherokees ceded to the United States all the lands "from a point on the 
Tennessee Eiver below Tellico Block-house, called the White Cat Bock, 
in a direct line to the Militia Spring near the Maryville road leading 
from Tellico; from the said spring to the Chilhowee Mountain by a line 
so to be run as will leave all the farms on Nine Mile Creek to the north- 
ward and eastward of it, and to be continued along Chilhowee Mountain 
until it strikes Hawkins' line; thence along the said line to the Great 
Iron Mountain, and from the top of which a line to be continued in a 
southeastwardly course to where the most southwardly branch of Little 
River crosses the divisional line to Tugalo Biver. From the place of be- 
ginning, the Wild Cat Bock, down the northeast margin of the Tennes- 
see Biver (not including islands) to a point or place one mile above the 
junction of that river with the Clinch; and from thence by a Una to be 
drawn in a right angle until it intersects Hawkins' line leading from 
Clinch; thence down' the said line to the river Clinch; thence up the said 
river to its junction with Emery Biver; thence up Emery Biver to the 
foot of Cumberland Mountains; from thence a line to be drawn northeast- 
wardly along the foot of the mountain until it intersects with Campbell's 
line." ^ It was further understood that two commissioners, one to be ap- 
pointed by each the Government and the Cherokee nation, were to run 
and mark the boundary line ; that the annuity should be increased from 
S5,000 to $6,000 in goods; that the Kentucky road running between the 
Cumberland Mountains and the Cumberland Biver should be open and 
free to the white citizens as was the road from Southwest Point to Cum- 
berland Biver ; that Indians might hunt upon the lands thus ceded until 
settlements should make it improper ; that stolen horses should be either 
returned or paid for, and that the agent of the Government living among 
the Indians should have a piece of land reserved for his use. Elisha I. 
Hall was secretary of the commission; Silas Dinsmore, agent to the 
Cherokees; Edward Butler, captain commanding at Tellico, and Charles 
Hicks and James Casey were interpreters. 


The year 1794 was distinguisliecl for tb« Nickajack expeditioD. The 
banditti Jndians of the five Lower Towns on the Tennessee River contin- 
ued to make attacks on the frontier settlements, and the frontiers de- 
termined to invade the towns as the only effectual means of self-defense, 
and of inflicting punishment upon the Indians for the injuries they had 
received. But as the Cumberland settlers were not of themselves strong 
enough to successfully undertake an expedition, they appealed to the mar- 
tial spirit of Kentucky to aid them in punishing an enemy from whom 
they had also been frequent sufferers. Col. Whitley of Kentucky entered 
into the scheme. Col. James Ford, of Montgomery, raised a company 
from near Clarksville ; Col. John Montgomery brought a company from 
Clarksville, and Gen. Robertson raised a company of volunteers from 
Nashville and vicinity; 

Maj. Ore, who had been detached by Gov. Blount to protect the fron- 
tiers of Mero District, opportunely arrived at Nashville as the troops were 
concentrating for the Nickajack expedition, as it has ever since been 
known, and entered heartily into the project; Maj. Ore temporarily as- 
sumed command, and the expedition has sometimes been called " Ore's 
expedition." Upon the arrival of the Kentucky troops. Col. Whitley was 
given command of the entire force, and Col. Montgomery of the volun- 
teers raised within the Territory 

Notwithstanding Col. Whitley having command of the little army, 
Gen. Robertson issued instructions to Maj. Ore, on the 6th of September, 
and on the next day, Sunday, the army set out upon its march. It crossed 
the Barren Fork of Duck River near the Stone Fort, and arrived at the 
Tennessee on the night of the 8th. Of the individuals present at this 
expedition were Joseph Brown, son of Col. James Brown, whose mel- 
ancholy fate is elsewhere recorded in this work; William Trousdale, 
afterward governor of Tennessee, and Andrew Jackson. The troops 
having the next morning crossed the river, penetrated to the center of 
the town of Nickajack, a village inhabited by about 250 families. In 
this village the troops killed quite a number of warriors, and many oth- 
ers, while they were attempting to escape in canoes or swimming in the 
river. Eighteen were taken prisoners and about seventy in all were 
killed ; but this number includes those killed in the town of Running 
Water as well as those killed in Nickajack. When an attack was made 
on two isolated houses, one of the squaws remained outside to listen. 
She attempted to escape by flight, but after a hard chase was taken pris- 
oner, and carried up to the town and placed among the other prisoners, 
in canoes. As these were being taken down the river the squaw loosed 
her clothes, sprang head foremost into the river, artfully disengaged her- 


self from her clothing, left them floating on the water and swam rapidly 
away. While thus making her escape, some of the soldiers cried out 
" Shoot her! shoot her!" but others admiring her activity and courage re- 
strained those who were in favor of shooting her, by saying " No, let her 
escape, she is too smart to kill." With respect to the number killed, it 
was given to Joseph Brown some time afterward by a chief in conversa- 
tion at Tellico Block-house. 

By an act approved May 19, 1796, the following boundary between 
the United States and the Indian tribes for the States of Kentucky and 
Tennessee was ordered surveyed and definitely marked. "Beginning at a 
point on the highlands or ridge on the Ohio River between the mouth 
of the Cumberland and the mouth of the Tennessee River; thence east- 
erly along said ridge to a point from whence a southwest line will strike 
the mouth of Duck River;* thence still easterly on the said ridge to 
a, point forty miles above Nashville; thence northeast to the Cumber- 
land River; thence up the said river to where the Kentucky road crosses 
the same; thence to the top of Cumberland Mountain; thence along 
Campbell's line to the river Clinch; thence down the said river to a point 
from which a line shall pass the Holston at the ridge which divides the 
waters running into Little River from those running into the Tennessee; 
thence south to the North Carolina boundary." 

At a treaty held at the Chickasaw Bluffs, October 24, 1801, between 
Brig. -Gen, James Wilkinson, Benjamin Hawkins, of North Carolina, 
and Andrew Pickens, of South Carolina, "and the Mingo, princi})al men 
and warriors of the Chickasaw nation," permission was given the United 
States to lay out and cut a wagon road between the settlements of the 
Mero District in Tennessee and those of Natchez on the Mississippi 
River. It was agreed that $700 should be paid the Indians to compen- 
sate them for furnishing guides and assistance. Seventeen Chickasaw 
chiefs signed the articles of the treaty. 

A treaty was held at Tellico, October 25, 1805, between Return Jona- 
than Meigs and Daniel Smith on the part of the United States, and thir- 
ty-three chiefs on the part of the Cherokees, by which the Indians ceded 
all their land north of the following boundary: "Beginning at the mouth 
of Duck River; running thence up the main stream of the same to the 
junction of the fork, at the head of which Fort Nash stood, with the main 
south fork ; thence a direct course to a point on the Tennessee River bank 
opposite the mouth of Hiwassee River. If the line from Hiwassee 
should leave out Field's settlement, it is to be marked round this im- 
provement and then continue the straight course; thence up the middle of 

♦See treaty with the Chickasaws, January 10, 1786. 


the Tennessee River (but leaving all the islands to the Cherokees) to the 
mouth of Clinch River ; thence up the Clinch River to the former boun- 
dary line agreed upon with the said Cherokees, reserving, at the same time, 
to the use of the Cherokees, a small tract lying at and below the mouth 
of Clinch River ; thence from the mouth extending down the Tennessee 
River (from the mouth of Clinch) to a notable rock on the north bank of 
the Tennessee, in view from Southwest Point; thence a course at right 
angles with the river to the Cumberland road; thence eastwardly along 
the same to the bank of Clinch River so as to secure the ferry landing to 
the Cherokees up to the first hill and down the same to the mouth there- 
of together with two other sections of one square mile each, one of which 
is at the foot of Cumberland Mountain, at and near where the turnpike 
gate now stands, the other on the north bank of the Tennessee River 
where the Cherokee Talootiske now lives. And whereas, from the 
present cessions made by the Cherokees, and other circumstances, the size 
of the garrisons at Southwest Point and Tellico are becoming not the 
most convenient and suitable places for the accommodation of the said 
Indians, it may become expedient to remove the said garrisons and fac- 
tory to some more suitable place, three other square miles are reserved 
for the particular disposal of the United States on the north bank of the 
Tennessee opposite to and below the mouth of Hiwassee." In consider- 
ation of this cession the Government agree to pay the Indians $3,000 im- 
mediately in valuable merchandise, and $11,000 within ninety days after 
the ratification of the treaty and also an annuity of $3,000 to begin im- 
mediately. The Indians, at their option, might take valuable machines 
for agriculture and useful domestic or hunting articles out of the $11,000. 
The Government was also to have the "free and unmolested use" of two 
new roads "one to proceed from some convenient place near the head of 
Stone's River and fall into the Georgia road at a suitable place toward 
the southern frontier of the Cherokees; the other to proceed from the 
neighborhood of Franklin or Big Harpeth, and crossing the Tennessee at 
or near the Muscle Shoals, to pursue the nearest and best way to the set- 
tlements on the Tombigbee." 

At Tellico, on the 27th of October, 1805, two days after the above 
treaty, the same commissioners (Meigs and Smith) concluded an addi- 
tional treaty with fourteen Cherokee chiefs, the following being a portion 
of one of the articles of such treaty: " Whereas, it has been represented 
by the one party to the other, that the section of land on which the gar- 
rison of Southwest Point stands and which extends to Kingston, is likely 
to become a desirable place for the assembly of the State of Tennessee to 
convene at (a committee from that body now in session having viewed 


the situation), now, the Cherokees being possessed of a spirit of concilia- 
tion, and seeing that this tract is desired for public purposes and not for 
individual advantages, reserving the ferries to themselves, quitclaim and 
cede to the United States the said section of land, understanding, at the 
same time, that the buildings erected by the public are to belong to the 
public, as well as the occupation of the same, during the pleasure of the 
Government. We also cede to the United States the first island in the 
Tennessee above the mouth of Clinch [River J." 

It was also agreed that mail which had been ordered to be carried 
from Knoxville to New Orleans through the Cherokee, Creek and Choc- 
taw countries, should not be molested by the former nation over the Tel- 
lico and Tombigbee road; and that the Government should pay for the 
land ceded as above described $1,600 in money or merchandise, at the 
option of the Indians, within ninety days after the ratification of the 

On the 23d of July, 1805, at a treaty concluded in the Chickasaw 
country between James Robertson and Silas Dinsmore and the chiefs of 
the Chickasaws, the latter ceded the following tract of land to the United 
States: "Beginning at the left bank of [the] Ohio at the point where 
the present Indian boundary adjoins the same : thence down the left bank 
of Ohio to the Tennessee River; thence up the main channel of the 
Tennessee River to the mouth of Duck River; thence up the left bank 
of Duck River to the Columbian highway or road leading from Nashville 
to Natchez; thence along the said road to the ridge dividing the waters 
running into Duck River from those running into Buffalo River; thence 
eastwardly along the said ridge to the great ridge dividing the waters 
running into the main Tennessee River from those running into Buffalo 
River near the main source of Buffalo River; thence in a direct line to 
the great Tennessee River near the Chickasaw Old Fields, or eastern 
point of the Chickasaw claim, on that river; thence northwardly to the 
great ridge dividing the waters running into the Tennessee from those 
running into the Cumberland River so as to include all the waters run- 
ning into Elk River; thence along the top of said ridge to the place 
of beginning ; reserving a tract of one mile square adjoining to and below 
the mouth of Duck River on the Tennessee, for the use of the chief, 
Okoy, or Lishmastubbee. The commissioners agreed to pay $20,000 
for the use of the nation and for the payments of its debts to traders, etc., 
and to pay George Colbert and Okoy $1,000 each. These sums were 
granted these head men upon the request of the Chickasaw delegation, 
as a reward for distinguished services rendered the nation ; also, the head 
chief of the nation, Chinnubbee, was granted an annuity of $100 during 


the remainder of "his natural life," "as a testimony of his personal 
worth and friendly disposition." Two dollars per day was ordered paid 
an agent of the Chickasaws appointed to assist in running and marking 
the boundary above described. 

On the 7th of January, 1806, at the city of Washington, a treaty 
was held between Henry Dearborn, Secretary of "War, and Double 
Head, James Vann, Tallotiska, Chuleoah, Sour Mush, Turtle at Home, 
Katihu, John McLemore, Broom, John Jolly, John Lowry, Red Bird, 
John Walker, Young Wolf, Skewha, Sequechu and William Showry, 
chiefs and head men of the Cherokees, Charles Hicks serving as inter- 
preter, and Eeturu J. Meigs, Benjamin Hawkins, Daniel Smith, John 
Smith, Andrew McClaiy and John McClary as witnesses, whereby the 
following was agreed iipon : The Cherokee nation ceded to the United 
States " all that tract of country which lies to the northward of the river 
Tennessee, and westward of a line to be run from the upper part of the 
Chickasaw Old Fields at the upper part of an island called Chickasaw Is- 
land on said river, to the most easterly head waters of that branch of said 
Tennessee River called Duck River, excepting the two following tracts, 
viz. : one tract bounded southerly on the said Tennessee River at a place 
called the Muscle Shoals, westerly by a creek called Tekeetanoah or 
Cypress Creek, and easterly by Chuwalee or Elk River or creek, and 
northerly by a line to be drawn from a point on said Elk River, ten miles 
on a direct line from its mouth or junction with Tennessee River, to a 
point on the said Cypress Creek, ten miles on a direct line from its junc- 
tion with the Tennessee River. The other tract is to be two miles in width 
on the north side of Tennessee River and to extend northerly from 
that river three miles and bounded as follows, viz. : Beginning at the 
mouth of Spring Creek and running up said creek three miles on a 
straight line ; thence westerly two miles at right angles with the general 
course of said creek ; thence southerly on a line parallel with the general 
course of said creek to the Tennessee River; thence up said river by its 
waters to the beginning — which first reserved tract is to be considered the 
common property of the Cherokees who now live on the same, including 
John D. Chisholm, Autowe and Chechout; and the other reserved tract, 
on which Moses Milton now lives, is to be considered the property of said 
Milton and Charles Hicks in equal shares. And the said chiefs and head 
men also agree to relinquish to the United States all right or claim which 
they or their nation have to what is called the Long Island in Holston 
River." . . 

In consideration of the relinquishment of this land the United States 
agreed to pay $2,000 to the Indians as soon as the treaty was ratified by 


the President, and $2,000 on each of the four succeeding years, or in all 
$10,000; and agreed to build a grist-mill in the Cherokee country for the 
use of the nation ; to furnish a machine for cleaning cotton ; to pay annu- 
ally to the old chief, Eunolee, or Black Fox, during the remainder of 
his life $100, and to settle the claims of the Chickasaws on the two res- 
ervations described above. Apparently, the terms of this treaty required 
elucidation, as, September 11, 1807, another meeting between James 
Robertson and Return J. Meigs and a delegation of Cherokees, of whom 
Black Fox was one, was held "at the point of departure of the line at the 
upper end of the island opposite to the upper part of the said Chickasaw 
Old Fields," on which occasion the following was fixed as the eastern 
limits of the ceded tract: "A line so to be run from the upper end of the 
Chickasaw Old Fields a little above the upper part of an island called 
Chickasaw Island, as will most directly intersect the first waters of Elk 
River; thence carried to the great Cumberland Mountain, in which the 
waters of Elk River have their source; then along the margin of said 
mountain until it shall intersect lands heretofore ceded to the United 
States at the said Tennessee Ridge." It was also agreed that $2,000 
should be paid to the Cherokees to meet their expenses at this council or 
treaty, and that the Cherokee hunters might hunt over the ceded tract 
•'until, by the fullness of settlers, it shall become improper." Eunolee, 
i)!' Black Fox; Fauquitee, or Glass; Fulaquokoko, or Turtle at Home; 
Richard Brown and Sowolotaw, or King's Brother, signed this "•decla- 
ration of intention." The following treaty or agreement with reference 
to the cultivation of a certain tract of ground by the proprietors of the 
Unicoi road was entered into July 8, 1817: 

We, the undersigned chiefs of the Cherokee nation, do hereby grant unto Nicholas 
Byers, Arthur H. Henly and David Russell, proprietors of the Unicoy road to Georgia, 
the liberty of cultivating all the ground contained in the bend on the north side of Ten- 
nessee River, opposite and below Chota Old Town, together with the liberty to erect a 
grist-mill on Four Mile Creek, for the use and benefit of said road and the Cherokees in 
the neighborhood thereof; for them, the said Byers, Henly and Russell, to have and to 
hold the above privileges during the term of use of the Unicoy road, also obtained from 
the Cherokees and sanctioned by the President of the United State?. 

At a treaty between Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson and the 
"chiefs, head men and warriors" of the Chickasaw nation held on the 
19th of October, 1818, "at the treaty ground east of Old Town, the Indians 
ceded lands as follows : The land lying north of the south boundary of the 
State of Tennessee, which is bounded south by the thirty-fifth degree of 
north latitude, and which lands hereby ceded lie within the following bound- 
ary, viz. : Beginning on the Tennessee River about thirty-five miles by 
water below Col. George Colbert's ferry, where the thirty-fifth degree of 


north latitude strikes the same ; thence due west with said degree of north 
latitude to where it cuts the Mississippi River at or near the Chickasaw 
Bluffs ; thence up the said Mississippi River to the mouth of the Ohio ; 
thence up the Ohio River to the mouth of the Tennessee River; thence 
up the Tennessee River to the place of beginning." 

In consideration of this valuable cession "and to perpetuate the hap- 
piness of the Chickasaw nation" the Government agreed to allow the In- 
dians an annuity of $20,000 for fifteen successive years; also to allow 
Capt. John Gordon, of Tennessee, $1,115 due him from the Chickasaws, 
and also to allow Capt. David Smith, of Kentucky, $2,000 to reimburse 
.him and forty-five soldiers of Tennessee in assisting in the defense of 
their towns (upon their request) against the attacks of the Creek Indians 
in 1795. A reservation in the above tract was retained by the Indians. 
It contained four miles square of land, including a salt spring or lick on 
or near Sandy River, a branch of the Tennessee. The Chickasaw chief, 
Levi Colbert and Maj. James Brown were constituted agents to lease 
the salt licks to a citizen or citizens of the United States for the benefit 
of the Indians, a certain quantity of salt to be paid therefor annually to 
the nation; and after two years from the date of the ratification of the 
treaty no salt was to be sold higher than $1 per bushel of fifty pounds 
weight. The Government further agreed to pay to Oppassantubbee, a 
principal chief of the Chickasaws; $500 for his two-mile reservation on the 
.north side of the Tennessee River; retained September 20, 1816, to pay 
John Lewis, a half-breed, $25 for a lost saddle while serving the United 
States; to pay Maj. James Colbert $1,089, which had been taken from 
his pocket in June, 1816, at a theater in Baltimore. 

Also to give upon the ratification of the treaty to the following named 
chiefs $150 each: Chinnubbee, king of the Chickasaws; Teshuahmin- 
,go, William McGibvery, Oppassantubee, Samuel Seely, James Brown, 
Levi Colbert, Iskarwcuttaba, George Pettigrove, Immartoibarmicco, and 
Malcolm McGee, interpreter; and to Maj. William Glover, Col. George 
Colbert, Hopoyeabaummer, Immauklusharhopoyea, Tushkaihopoye, Hop- 
oyebaummer, Jr., James Colbert, Coweamarthlar and Illachouwarhopo- 
yea, $100 each. At a treaty with the Cherokees held at Washington 
City, February 27, 1819, the Indians ceded the following tract of country: 

All of their lands lying north and east of the following line, viz. : Beginning on the Ten- 
nessee River at the point where the Cherokee boundary with Madison County in Alabama 
Territory joins the same; thence along the main channel of said river to the mouth of the 
Hiwassee; thence along its main channel to the first hill which closes in on said river 
about two miles above Hiwassee; thence along the ridge which divides the waters of the 
Hiwassee and Little Tellico, to the Tennesee River atTelassee; thence along the main 
■channel to the junction of the Cowee and Xauteyalee; thence along the i-idge in the fork of 


said river to tlie top of the Blue Ridge; thence along the Blue Ridge to the Unicoy turn- 
pike road; thence by a straight line to the nearest main source of the Chestatee; thence 
along its main channel to the Chatahouchee, and thence to the Creek boundary; it being 
understood that all the islands in the Chestatee, and the parts of the Tennessee and Hi- 
wassee (with the exception of Jolly Island in the Tennessee near the mouth of the Hiwas- 
see) which constitutes a portion of the present boundary, belong to the Cherokee nation. 

Art. 3. It is also understood and agreed by the contracting parties, that a reserva- 
tion in fee simple, of six hundred and forty acres square, with the exception of Maj. 
Walker's which is to be located as is hereafter provided, to include their improvements, 
and which are to be as near the center thereof as possible, shall be made to each of the 
persons whose names are inscribed on the certified list annexed to this treaty,* all of whom 
are believed to be persons of industry, and capable of managing their property with dis- 
cretion and have, with few exceptions, made considerable improvements on the tracts re- 
served. The reservations are made on the condition that those forwhom they are intended 
shall notify inwriting to the agent for the Cherokee nation within six months after the ratifi- 
cation of this treaty that it is their intention to continue to reside permanently on the land 
reserved. The reservation for Lewis Ross so to be laid off as to include his house and out- 
buildings and ferry adjoining the Cherokee agency, reserving to the United States all the 
public property there and the continuance of the said agency where it now is during the 
pleasure of the Government; and Maj. Walker's so as to include his dwelling house and 
ferry, for Maj. Walker an additional reservation is made of 640 acres square, to include 
his grist and saw-mill; the land is poor and principally valuable for its timber. In addi- 
tion to the above reservations the following are made in fee simple, the persons for whom 
they are intended not residing on the same: To Cobbin Smith 640 acres, to be laid off in 
equal parts on both sides of his ferry on Tellico, commonly called Blair's ferry; to John 
Ross 640 acres, to be laid off so as to include the Big Island in Tennessee River, being the 
first below Tellico, which tracts of land were given many years since by the Cherokee 
nation to them; to Mrs. Eliza Ross, step-daughter of Maj. Walker, 640 acres square, to be 
located on the river below and adjoining Maj. Walker's; to Margaret Morgan 640 acres 
square to be located on the west of and adjoining James Riley's reservation; to George 
Harlin 640 acres square, to be located west of and adjoining the reservation of Margaret 
Morgan; to James Lowry 640 acres square, to be located at Crow Mocker's old place, at the 
foot of Cumberland Mountain; to Susannah Lowry 640 acres, to be located at the Toll 
Bridge on Battle Creek; to Nicholas Byers 640 acres, including the Toqua Island, to be lo- 
cated on the north bank of the Tennessee opposite to said island. 

Immediately after the ratification of this treaty North Carolina ap- 
pointed commissioners and surveyors to survey and sell the lands ac- 
quired within her limits under the treaty. These commissioners and 
surveyors performed their duties without knowing what reservations 
would be taken by the Indians, or where they would be located. Subse- 
quently to the sale by the State, commissioners were sent out by the 
United States Government to survey and lay off the reservations for those 
Indians who claimed under the treaty. The consequence was that nearly 
all the reservations conflicted with lands previously sold by the State Com- 
missioners to citizens, a number of whom had sold their homesteads in 
older settled portions of the State, and had moved to the newly acquired 

♦Robert McLemore, John Baldridge, Lewis Ross, Fox Taylor, Rd. Timherlake, David Fields (to include his 
mill), James Brown (to include his field by the long pond), William Brown, John Brown, Elizabeth Lowry, 
George Lowry, John Henze, Mrs. Elizabeth Peck, John Walker, Sr., John Walker, Jr., Richard Taylor, John 
Mcintosh, James Starr, iSamuel Parks, The Old Bark (of Chota)— total 20. (Only those are here given whose- 
reserves were in Tennessee.) 


territory. Tliese conflicting claims caused much disturbance, the pur- 
chasers from the State commissioners looking to the State to make their 
title valid, and the Indians looking to the United States to make their 
title valid. A great many suits were brought by the Indians in the 
courts of North Carolina against citizens who had taken possession under 
titles obtained from the State of North Carolina, and one case was carried 
to the supreme court of the State and decided in favor of the Indian. 
Clearly perceiving the disagreeable results that must ensue from a con- 
tinuance of this state of things. North Carolina felt compelled to take 
prompt measures for the relief of the citizens to whom she had sold 
these lands. Time would not permit application to the General Govern- 
ment to extinguish the Indian title, and she tlierefore took the only course 
left open for her to pursue, viz.: to appoint commissioners of her own to 
purchase of the Indians their claims to the lands. This purchase was 
efPected at a cost to the State of ^19,9G9, besides incidental expenses, the 
entire sum expended by the State in this matter being !|22,000. North 
Carolina then made application to Congress for the reimbursement to her 
treasury of this sum, basing her claim for reimbursement ori the two 
following reasons: First — That the General Government had no power 
to exercise any control over any part of the soil within the limits of any 
of the original States, and that the injury sustained by North Carolina 
resulted from the act of the General Government in the assumption and 
exercise of this power as set forth in this treaty, and which was a viola- 
tion of the rights and sovereignty of the State. Second — That the gen- 
eral policy of the General Government has been to extinguish Indian 
titles to land within the States when she could do so. The first proposi- 
tion was discussed at considerable length and the second was sustained 
by extracts from the treaties of Hopewell, 1785, and of Holston, 1791. 
The application of North Carolina for the repayment to her of $22,000 
was granted by Congress in an act approved May 9, 1828. Soon after 
the conclusion of the above treaty the following agreement with reference 
to the laying out and opening of a road from the Tennessee to the Tu- 
galo River was made and entered into: 

Cherokee Agency, Hiwassee Garrison. 
We the' undersigned chiefs and' councilors of the Cherokees, in full council assembled, 
do hereby give, grant and make over unto Nicholas Byers and David Russell, who are 
agents in behalf of the States of Tennessee and Georgia, full power and authority to es- 
tablish a turnpike company to be composed of them, the said Nicholas and David, Arthur 
Henly, John Lowry, Atto and one other perscm, by them to be hereafter named in behalf 
of the State of Georgia, and the above named person are authorized to nominate five prop 
er and fit persons, natives of the Cherokees, who, together with the white men aforesaid, 
are to constitute the company; which said company when thus established, are hereby 
fully authorized by us to lay out and open a road from the most suitable point on the 


Tennessee lliver, lobe directed the nearest and best way to llie highest point of navigation 
on the Tugalo lliver; which said road when opened and established shall continue and re- 
main a free and public highway, unmolested by us, to the interest and benefit of the said 
company and their successors, for the full term of twenty years yet to come after the same 
may be opened and complete; after which time said road with all its advantages shall be 
surrendered up and reverted in the said Cherokee nation. And the said company shall 
have leave, and are hereby authorized, to erect their public stands, or houses of entertain- 
ment, on said road, that is to say: One at each end and one in the middle, or as nearly so 
as a good situation will permit, with leave also to cultivate one hundred acres of land on 
each end of the road and fifty acres at the middle stand, with a privilege of a sufficiency 
of timber for the use and consumption of said stands. And the said turnpike company do 
hereby agree to pay the sum of $160 yearly to the Cherokee nation for the aforesaid priv- 
ilege, to commence after said road is opened and in complete operation. The said com- 
pany are to have the benefit of one ferry on Tennessee River, and such other ferry or fer- 
ries as are necessary on said road, and likewise said company'' shall have the exclusive priv- 
ilege of trading on said road during the aforesaid term of time. 

In testimony of our full consent to all and singular the above named privileges and ad- 
vantages, we have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals this eighth day of March;, 
eighteen hundred and thirteen 


The-la-gath-a-hee, Nettle Carrier, Chu-la-oo, 

Two Killers, John Walker, Wau-sa-way, 

John Boggs, Na-ah-ree, The Bark, 

CuR-A-HEE, The Raven, • See-kee-kee, 

Too-cha-lee, Te-is-tis-kee, Dick Brown, 

Dick Justice, Quo-ti-quas-kee, Charles Hicks. 

The foregoing agreement and grant was amicably negotiated and concluded in my 
presence. Return J. Meigs, Agent to the Cherokees. 

I certify I believe the within to be a correct copy of the original. 
Washington City, March 1, 1819 Charles Hicks, Agent to the Cherokees. 

On tlie 15th of November, 1819, the Legislature of Tennessee passed 
an act to dispose of the lands in the former Cherokee hunting grounds 
between the rivers Hiwassee and Tennessee, and north of the Little Ten- 
nessee. The act provided that three commissioners should be appointed 
to superintend the sale of these lands, that no one person should be al- 
lowed to purchase for himself more than 640 acres, and 320 acres for 
each of his children, and that no land should be sold for less than $2 per 
acre. By this act the Unicoi Turnpike Company was permitted to retain, 
possess and enjoy all the franchises yielded to them by the Cherokees in 
the treaty of February 27, 1819, together with the use and occupancy of 
250 acres of land convenient to the public house then occupied by Maj. 
Henry Stephens during the continuance of the grant. A few days pre- 
vious to the passage of the above act, the Legislature of Tennessee passed 
an act (October 23, 1819) for the adjudication of the North Carolina 
land claims and for satisfying the same by an appropriation of the va- 
cant soil south and west of the congressional reservation line, and ex- 
tending to the Mississippi River. This territory was divided into seven 


districts, numbered from the seventh to the thirteenth inclusive,' all of 
these districts being definitely bounded in the second section of this act. 

The "congressional reservation line" was described in an act of 
Congress, approved April 18, 1806, entitled "^ an act to authorize the 
State of Tennessee to issue grants and perfect titles to certain lands 
therein described, and to settle the claims to the vacant lands within the 
same." Following is the description of the line: "Beginning at the 
place where the eastern or main branch of Elk River shall intersect the 
southern boundary line of the State of Tennessee ; from thence running 
due north until said line shall intersect the northern or main branch of 
Duck River; thence down the waters of Duck River to the military 
boundary line as established by the seventh section of an act of the State 
of North Carolina entitled 'an act for the relief of the officers and sol- 
diers of the continental line and for other purposes' passed in the year 
1783 ; thence with the military boundary line west to the place where it 
intersects, the Tennessee River ; thence down the waters of the river Ten- 
nessee to the place where the same intersects the northern boundary line 
of the State of Tennessee." 

With reference to the departure of the Cherokee Indians from the 
State of -Tennessee, it is proper to observe that early in this century they 
were divided into the Lower and Upper Towns ; the Lower Towns clinging 
to the hunter life, and the Upper Towns wishing to assimilate with the 
whites. Li 1808 delegations from both parties called upon the President 
of the United States — the former to express a wish to remove to Govern- 
ment lands west of the Mississippi. On July 8, 1817, lands were ceded 
to the United States in exchange for lands on the Arkansas and White 
Rivers, and under this arrangement 3,000 moved in 1818. Then followed 
the treaty of 1819, after which the Cherokees had left east of the Missis- 
sippi River about 8,000 square miles of territory, chiefly in the State 
of Georgia. 

The last treaty made with the Chickasaws was under date of October 
19, 1818, at which they ceded all their lands north of Mississippi be- 
tween the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, for certain specified annual 
payments, the Colberts, influential men of the tribe, aware of the value 
of the lands, securing unusually favorable terms for the Chickasaws. By 
treaties of 1832 and 1834 they ceded to the United States all their re- 
maining lands east of the Mississippi River. 

It is difficult to obtain accurate statistics with regard to the numbers 
of the various Indian tribes residing within the limits of Tennessee at 
any specified period previous to 1860. There was taken no valuable 
census of the Indian population previous to 1825, and then it was taken 


with reference to the tribes themselves instead of with reference to 
States. In that year there were estimated to reside in the States of North 
Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, 53,625 Indians 
— Cherokees, Creeks, Chickasaws and Choctaws. Of the Creeks there 
were about 20,000 residing principally in eastern Alabama. Of the 
Choctaws there were about 20,000, residing principally in Mississippi. 
Of the Chickasaws there were about 3,600, residing almost wliolly in 
Mississippi, the rest being Cherokees residing in North Carolina, Georgia, 
Alabama and Tennessee. At this time the total number of Indians in 
Tennessee was about 1,000, which remained the Indian population of the 
State for several years, but the number was gradually reduced until 
1860, when it was sixty; in 1870 it was seventy. 


Settlement of Tennessee— Early Explorations— Ferdinand De Soto— 
Identity of Chisca and Memphis— Wood's Tour of Discovery — Settle- 
ments AND Intrigues of the French— Spottswood's Exploration— Con- 
flicting Designs of the French and the English — Construction of 
Forts Loudon and Patrick Henry— Scotch and French Traders- 
Walker's Discoveries — Daniel Boone — The Hunting Expeditions— The 
Gradual Appearance of Permanent White Settlers — Results of the 
Treaty of 1763 — Rapid Increase of Pioneers— Watauga, Carter's and 
Brown's Settlements — Land Cessions -and Pre-emption Grants — Acts 
of the Watauga Association — The Exploration of Cumberland Yal- 

ERAL Observations. 

THE problem of who were the first inhabitants of the immense, diver- 
sified and fertile territory now organized into and named the State 
of Tennessee will doubtless always remain unsolved. The present limits 
of the State were certainly entered in the western part, and possibly in 
the eastern part by that daring explorer and intrepid warrior, Fernando 
De Soto, while on his ill-starred expedition of 1540 and 1541. The 
opinion as to his presence in East Tennessee rests mainly if not entirely 
upon inferences drawn fi'om descriptions of localities, rivers and islands, 
and from the names of Indian tribes and villaofes contained in the narra- 
tive of the Portuguese historian who accompanied De Soto in his final and 
fatal wanderings. According to McCullough, the extreme northern point 
of the route followed by De Soto's army was at Chonalla, near the thirty- 
fifth parallel of latitude, and somewhere among the sources of the Coosa 
Biver. And Dr. Kamsey thinks it possible that Chonalla was identical 


TTitli the modern Cherokee, Chilhowee, as the description by the Portu- 
guese gentlemen of the country around Chonalla applies to that around 
Chilhowee. " Canasaqua " is also mentioned in the Portuguese narration, 
and this name is thought to have been changed into Canasauga, which is 
the name of one of the tributaries of the Coosa, and it is also the name 
of a small town in the southeast corner of Polk County. Talise and 
Sequatchie are also mentioned, which seems to additionally confirm the 
theory of De Soto's presence in East Tennessee. In 1834 Col. Petti- 
val visited two forts or camps on the west bank of the Tennessee Eiver, 
one mile above Brown's Ferry, below the Muscle Shoals, and opposite the 
mouth of Cedar Creek, which he was certain "belonged to the expedition 
of Alphonso De Soto." This fact, if established, would be in confirmation 
of the theory that De Soto crossed the Tennessee Eiver to the northward, 
and then again to the southward on his march into what are now Ala- 
bama and Mississippi. 

But whatever may be the fact regarding the presence of De Soto's 
army in East Tennessee, there is no reasonable doubt of its having been in 
West Tennessee. After leaving Talise, De Soto, in response to an invi- 
tation from Tuscaluza, visited the residence of that cazique about fifteen 
leagues distant from Talise, and on the windings of the river. Contin- 
uing his march he arrived at Mauvilla, October 18, 1540, and here was 
compelled to fight one of his greatest battles, in which he lost eighty-two 
of his soldiers and inflicted a loss of 2,500 on the natives. Proving vic- 
torious he rested his army in the village of Mauvilla until November 18, 
when he started northward. After five days marching the Spaniards 
entered the province of Chicaza and approached the village, Cabusto, 
where another battle was fought with the Indians, and after winning this 
battle they arrived at Chicaza village December 18. Here, as at Mau- 
villa, they were surprised by a well concerted night attack from the Indi- 
ans, but were again victorious and resumed their march to Chiacilla, 
where they remained the rest of the winter. April 1, 1541, they marched 
four leagues and encamped beyond the boundaries of Chicaza. At Ali- 
bamo they fought their next battle, and then marched northward seven 
days through an uninhabited wilderness, and at length came in sight of 
Cliisca, seated near a wide river, the largest they had as yet discovered, 
and which they named the Eio Grande. Juan Coles, one of the followers 
of De Soto, says the Indians named the river Chucaqua. The Portuguese 
narrator says that in one place it was named Tomaliseii, in another Tu- 
pata, in another Mico, and where it enters the sea Ei, probably different 
names among the different tribes. The Portuguese gentlemen called 
Chisca by the name of Quizquiz.* 

*Ramsey. 7 


Chisca is believed to have occupied the site of the present thriving- 
city of Memphis, On the morning of its discovery by the Spaniards 
they rushed into it in a disorderly manner, pillaging the houses and tak- 
ing numerous persons of both sexes prisoners. Chisca, the chief of the 
province, though ill, was exceedingly enraged, and was determined to 
rush forth and exterminate all who had thus dared to enter his province 
without permission. But he was restrained by his women and attend- 
ants, and after a proffer of peace by De Soto, became more peaceable, 
granted the request, and De Soto went into camp. The next morning- 
some of the natives advanced without speaking, turned their faces toward 
the east, and made a profound genuflection to the sun ; then turning to 
the west they made the same obeisance to the moon, and concluded with 
a similar but less profound reverence to De Soto. They then said they 
had come in the aiame of the cazique, Chisca, and in the name of all his 
subjects, to bid them welcome, and to offer their friendship and services. 
They also said they were desirous of seeing what kind of men the stran- 
gers were, as there was a tradition handed down ivom their ancestors that 
a white people would come and conquer their country.* 

The Spaniards remained at Chisca twenty days, at the end of which 
time, having built four piraguas, they were ready to cross the great river. 
About three hours before day De Soto ordered the piraguas to be 
launched, and four troopers of tried courage to cross in each. The troop- 
ers, when near the opposite shore, rushed into the water, and meeting 
with no resistance easily effected a landing, and were thus masters of the 
pass. The entire army was over the river two hours before the setting 
of the sun. The Mississippi Biver at this place, according to the Portu- 
guese narrator, was half a league across, was of great depth, very muddy, 
and was filled with trees and timber, carried along by the rapidity of the 

According to Bancroft, De Soto saw the Mississippi Biver for the first 
time April 25, 1541, being guided to it by the natives at one of their 
usual crossing places, probably the lowest Chickasaw Bluff, not far from 
the thirty-fifth j)arallel of latitude ; Belknap says within the thirty-fourth 
parallel; Andrew Elliott's journal says it was in thirty-four degrees and 
ten minutes ; "Martin's Louisiana" says a little below the lowest Chickasaw 
Bluff; "Nuttall's Travels in Arkansas" says at the lowest Chickasaw Bluff, 
and McCuUough says twenty or thirty miles below the mouth of the Ar- 
kansas Biver. 

From the time of De Soto's departure from Chisca there appears to 
have been no attempt at exploration within the present limits of Tennessee 



until the year 1655, when Col. Wood, who lived at the falls of the James 
Eiver, sent suitable persons out on a tour of discovery to the westward. 
These parties crossed the Alleghany Mountains, and reached the Ohio 
and other rivers flowing into the Mississippi, And it is believed possi- 
ble by writers on this deptiitment of literature that Col. Wood's explorers 
followed the beautiful valley of Virginia, passed through the upper part 
of East Tennessee and the Cumberland Gap, and thus were the pioneers 
of that vast flood of immigration which but little more than a century later 
poured its current of life and activity into Tennessee. 

Less than twenty years after this conjectural tour through Tennessee 
of Col, Wood's adventurers two remarkable, historical personages passed 
down the Mississippi, and found between the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth 
parallels of latitude, on the eastern bank of the great river, densely popu- 
lated Indian villages. These celebrated personages were Marquette and 
Joliet, and these discoveries were made in June, 1673. In the map pub- 
lished in connection with Marquette's Journal, in 1681, highlands corre- 
sponding to the first, second and third Chickasaw. Bluffs are delineated 
with considerable accuracy, as is also a large island, known as President's 
Island. Reports of these visits and discoveries circulated in France ex- 
cited among their countrymen brilliant schemes of colonization along the 
banks of the Mississippi, and La Salle was commissioned to perfect the 
exploration of the great river and its immense and productive valley. In 
furtherance of this object La Salle descended the river to its mouth in 
1682, and planted the standard of France near the Gulf of Mexico, claim- 
ing the territory for that power, and naming it "Louisiana," in honor of 
his sovereign. Emperor Louis XIV. As he passed down the river he 
framed a cabin and built a fort on the first Chickasaw Bluff, naminof it 
PrmVliommc. Except the four piraguas, or pirogues, built at this point 
by the Spanish adventurer De Soto, in 1541, this cabin and fort built by 
the French explorer La Salle, in 1682, was the first handicraft by civilized 
man within the boundaries of Tennessee. 

While at this fort La Salle entered into friendly arrangements with the 
Chickasaw Indians for the opening of trade, and established a trading 
post, which he hoped would serve as a rendezvous for traders from the 
Illinois to posts which might afterward be established below. Since tlie 
time of La Salle the largest commercial city of Tennessee has been estab- 
lished and developed very near, if not precisely upon, the very spot 
selected by him for his trading post. But this State was not to be settled 
from the West. It was from Virginia and North Carolina that were to 
come the hardy sons of toil and courageous pioneers that were to convert 
the "howling wilderness," which Tennessee had been for centuries, into 


a populous, industrious and prosperous commonwealtli. After the deatli 
of Bacon immigration set in toward the west, and extended into the beauti- 
ful valley of Virginia. In 1690 the settlements reached the Blue Eidge, 
and explorations of the great West were soon afterward undertaken. In 
1714 accordino- to Eamsey, Col. Alexander Spottswood, then lieutenant- 
governor of Virginia, passed, and was the first to pass the Great Blue 
Hills, and his attendants, on account of having discovered a horse-pass, 
were called "Knights of the Horse Shoe." It has been said that during 
this tour Gov. Spottswood passed Cumberland Gap, and conferred this 
name upon the gap, the mountains and the river, which they have ever 
since retained, but this is probably an error. During the same year 
(1714) M. Charleville, a French trader from Crozat's colony, at New Or- 
leans, came among the Shawanees, then living upon the Cumberland 
Eiver, and opened trade with them. His store was upon a mound, on 
the present site of Nashville, west of the Cumberland Eiver, near French 
Lick Creek, and about seventy yards from each stream. But it is thought 
M. Charleville could not have remained long, for about this time the 
Chickasaws and Cherokees made a- combined attack upon the Shawanees, 
and drove them from their numerous villages along the lower Cumber- 

Evidently it was the design of the French at that time to exclude the 
English from the valley of the Mississippi and to confine their colonies 
to narrow limits along the Atlantic coast. In order to accomplish this 
purpose they endeavored to enlist in their behalf the native Indian 
tribes. Traders from Carolina having ventured to the countries of the 
Choctaws and Chickasaws had been driven from their villages through 
the influence of Bienville, France claiming the entire valley of the Miss- 
issippi by priority of discovery. According to Adair the eastern bound- 
aries of the territory at that time claimed by the French extended to the 
head springs of the Alleghany and Monongahela, of the Kanawha and of 
the Tennessee. One half mile from the head of the Savannah was 
'•Herbert's Spring," the water from which flows to the Mississippi, and 
strangers who drank of it would say they had tasted "French waters;" 
and the application of the name "French Broad" to the river now 
known by that name is thus explained. Traders and hunters from Caro- 
lina in passing from the head waters of Broad Eiver, and falling upon 
those of the stream with which they inosculate west of the mountains, 
and hearing of the French claim would naturally call the newly discov- 
ered stream the " French Broad." Not long after this the French built 
and garrisoned Fort Toulouse, at the confluence of the Coosa and Talla- 
poosa : Tombeckbee in the Choctaw country ; Assumption, on the Chick- 


asaw Bluff, and Paducah, at the mouth of the Cumberland, and numerous 
trading posts along the Tennessee, indicative of their intention to main- 
tain possession of the country. 

To counteract the influence of the French and to frustrate their de- 
signs the English sent out Sir Alexander Gumming to treat with the 
Cherokees, who at that time occupied the country in the vicinity of the 
source of the Savannah River and back therefi'om to and beyond the Ap- 
palachian chain of mountains. Summoning the Lower, Middle Yalley 
and Overhill tribes. Sir Alexander met the chiefs of the Cherokee towns 
at Nequassa, in April, 1730, informed them by whom he was sent and 
demanded of them obedience to King George. The chiefs, falling upon 
their knees, solemnly promised what was demanded, and Sir Alexander, 
with their unanimous consent, nominated Moytoy, of Telliquo,* com- 
mander-in-chief of the Cherokee nation. The crown was brought from 
Tenassee,-!- their chief town, which together -with five eagle feathers and 
four scalps, taken from the heads of their enemies, they requested Sir 
Alexander to lay at his sovereign's feet. 

As has been seen above it was the policy of France to unite the ex- 
tremes of her North American possessions by a cordon of forts along the 
Mississippi Kiver; but the Chickasaws had hitherto formed an ol^stacle 
to the accomplishment of this design. This tribe of Indians was con- 
sidered inimical to the purposes of the French, and hence the French 
resolved upon their subjugation. A joint invasion was therefore made 
into their country by Bienville and D'Artuquette, which resulted dis- 
astrously to the invaders. The French, however, not to be deterred by 
disaster, toward the last of June, 1739, sent an army of 1,200 white men 
and double that number of red and black men, who took up their quar- 
ters in Fort Assumption, on the bluff of Memphis. The recruits from 
Canada sank under the torridity of the climate. In March, 1740, the 
small detachment proceeded to the Chickasaw country. They were met 
by messengers who supplicated for peace, and Bienville gladly accepted 
the calumet. The fort at Memphis was razed, and the Chickasaws re- 
mained the undoubted lords of the country. ;|; 

Thus did the present territory of Tennessee again rid itself of civil- 
ization, almost precisely two centuries after De Soto built his piraguas 
near the site of the razed Fort Assumption, on the banks of the Missis- 
sippi. But civilization can not be restrained. Settlements were gradu- 
ally extending from the Atlantic colonies toward Tennessee. In 1740 

* Probably the modern Tellico. 

t Teoassee was on the west bank of the present Little Tennessee River, a few miles above the mouth of 
Tellico, and afterward gave its name to Tennessee River and the State. 


there was a handsome fort at Augusta garrisoned by twelve or fifteen 
men, besides officers, and the boundary line between Virginia and North 
Carolina was extended in 1749 by commissioners appointed by their re- 
spective Legislatures to Holston Hiver, directly opposite Steep Rock. 
According to Haywood the Holston River was discovered by and settled 
upon by a man of that name, which event must therefore have occurred 
previous to 1749. Fort Dobbs was built in 1756, about twenty miles 
west of Salisbury, in accordance with the terms of a treaty between Col. 
Waddle and Attakullakulla, the Little Carpenter, in behalf of the Chero- 
kees. But to this treaty the Indians paid little attention, and hence it 
became necessary for Gov. Glenn, of South Carolina, to make an alliance 
with the Indians for the purpose of securing peace and protection to the 
frontier settlements. This alliance or treaty was made in 1755, at 
which a large cession of territory was made to the King of Great Britain, ' 
whom Gov. Glenn represented, and soon afterward Gov. Glenn built 
Fort Prince George upon and near the source of the Savannah River, 
300 miles from Charleston, and in the immediate proximity of an Indian 
town named Keown. 

In the spring of 1756 the Earl of Loudon, who had been appointed 
commander of the King's troops in America and governor of Virginia, 
sent Andrew Lewis out to build another fort on the southern bank of 
the Little Tennessee River, above the mouth of Tellico River, nearly 
opposite the spot upon which Tellico Block-house was afterward erected 
and about thirty miles from the site of Knoxville. Lewis named the 
structure Fort Loudon, in honor of the Earl. This fort is remarkable as 
being the first erected in Tennessee by the English, but authorities 
difiPer as to the year in which it was erected — some say in 1756, others in 
1757. In 1758 Col. Bird, of Virginia, erected Long Island Fort, on the 
north bank of the Holston, nearly opposite the upper end of Long Island. 
At this time the line between Virginia and North Carolina had not been 
extended beyond Steep Rock Creek, and this fort was thought to be in 
Virginia, but as the line when extended passed north of the fort, the 
Virginians have the honor of having erected the second Anglo-American 
fort within the limits of Tennessee. 

"While these events were taking place, numerous traders were making 
their way from the Atlantic coast to the south and west. In 1690 Doherty, 
a trader from Virginia, visited the Cherokees, and in 1730 Adair, from 
South Carolina, extended his tour through the towns of this tribe. In 
1740 other traders employed a Mr. Vaughn as packman to transport 
their goods. These traders passed to the westward along the Tennessee 
below the Muscle Shoals, and there came in competition with other trad- 


«rs from New Orleans and Mobile. Those who returned to northern 
markets were usually heavily laden with peltries which sold at highly re- 
munerative prices. A hatchet, a pocket looking-glass or a piece of scarlet 
<}loth and other articles which cost but little and were of but little intrin- 
sic value would command among the Indians on the Hiwassee or the 
Tennessee peltries which could be sold for forty times their original cost 
in Charleston or Philadelphia. It is worthy of remark that most of these 
traders were Scotchmen who had been but a short time in the country, 
who were thus at peace with the Indians, and the commerce which they 
carried on proved a source of great profit and was with them for a time 
a monopoly. But this monopoly was not to be permitted long to continue. 
The cupidity of frontier hunters became excited as they perceived the 
heavily laden trader or packman returning from the far Western wilder- 
ness which they had not yet ventured to penetrate ; and as game became 
scarce in their own accustomed haunts east of the mountains they soon 
began to accompany the traders to the West and to trap and hunt on 
their own account. 

But these hunters and traders can scarcely be considered the precur- 
sors of the pioneer settlers of Tennessee. In 1748 Dr. Thomas Walker, 
of Virginia, in company with Cols. Wood, Patton and Buchanan and 
Capt. Charles Campbell, made an exploring tour upon the Western waters. 
Passing Powell's Valley he gave the name " Cumberland " to the lofty 
range of mountains on the west of the valley. Tracing this range in a 
southwest direction he came to a remarkable depression in the chain. 
Through this depression he passed, calling it " Cumberland Gap. " West 
of the range of mountains he found a beautiful mountain stream to which 
he gave the name of " Cumberland River, " all in honor of the Duke of 
Cumberland, then Prime Minister of England. The Indian name of the 
river was Warito. On account of the supposition that the Virginia line, 
if extended westward, would run south of its present location, a grant of 
land was made by the authorities in Virginia to Edmund Pendleton of 
3,000 acres lying in Augusta County on a branch of the middle fork of 
the Indian River, called West Creek, now in Sullivan County, Tenn. 
The original patent was signed by Gov. Dinwiddie, was presented to Dr. 
Ramsey by T. A. R. Nelson, of Jonesboro, and is probably the oldest 
patent in the State. 

In 1760 Dr. Walker again passed over Clinch and Powell Rivers on 
a tour of exploration into Kentucky. At the head of one of the parties 
ihat visited the West in 1761 " came Daniel Boone, from the Yadkin in 
North Carolina, and traveled with them as low as the place where Abing- 
don now stands and there left them." This is the first time the name of 


Daniel Boone is mentioned by historians in connection with explorations 

into Tennessee, but there is evidence that he was in the State at least a 

year earlier, evidence that is satisfactory to most writers on the subject. 

N. Gammon, formerly of Jonesboro, and later of Knoxville, furnished 

to Dr. Ramsey a copy of an inscription until recently to be seen upon a 

beech tree standing in the valley of Boone's Creek, a tributary of the 

Watauga, which is here presented: 

D. Boon 

Cilled A BAR 

on Tree in the 



If Daniel Boone wrote or rather cut this inscription on the tree, as is 
generally believed to have been the case, it is not improbable that he ac- 
companied Dr. Walker on his second tour of exploration, which was made 
in 1760, and it fixes the date of his arrival in this State. But this, appar- 
ently, is not demonstrable. The New American Cyclopedia says in ref- 
erence to Daniel Boone: "When he was about eighteen his father re- 
moved to North Carolina and settled on the Yadkin. Here Daniel mar- 
ried Rebecca Bryan and for some years followed the occupation of a far- 
mer, bat about 1761 we find that his passion for hunting led him with 
a company of explorers into the wilderness at the head waters of the 
Tennessee river;" and Collins, in his History of Kentucky, writes as 
though Boone's knowledge of and interest in the wild- woods of Kentucky 
began upon hearing reports of their beauty and value by John Findley, 
who did not make his exploration until 1767, which will be referred to 
in its proper chronological connection. However, with regard to the 
inscription it would seem legitimate to inquire why did not Boone spell 
his own name correctly on the tree? 

In this same year, 1761, a company of about twenty hunters, chiefly 
from Virginia came into what is now Hawkins County, Tenn., and 
hunted in Carter's Yalley about eighteen months. Their names have not 
all been preserved; a portion of them, however, were Wallen, Scaggs, 
Blevins and Cox. Late in 1762 this party came again and hunted on 
the Clinch and other rivers, as was also the case in 1763 when they 
penetrated further into the interior, passed through Cumberland Gap, 
and hunted the entire season upon the Cumberland River. In 1764 
Daniel Boone, now in the employ of Henderson & Co., came again to 
explore the country. He was accompanied this time by Samuel Calla- 
way, ancestor of the Callaway family in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mis- 
souri. After Boone and Callaway came Henry Scaggins, who extended 
his tour to the lower Cumberland and fixed his station at Mausker's Lick^ 


the first exploration west of tlie Cumberland Mountains by an Anglo- 
American. In June, 17GG, according to Haywood, Col. James Smith set 
out to explore the rich lands between the Ohio and Cherokee Rivers, 
then lately ceded to Great Britain. Traveling westwardly from the Hol- 
ston River, in company with Joshua Horton, Uriah Stone and William 
Baker, and a slave belonging to Horton, they explored the country south 
of Kentucky, and the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers from Stone 
River, which they named after Uriah Stone, down to the Ohio. Arriving 
at the mouth of the Tennessee Col. Smith, accompanied by Horton's 
slave, returned to Carolina in October. The rest of the party went on to 

The recital by Col. Smith of what he had seen on the lower Cumber- 
land, the extraordinary fertility of the soil, its rich flora, its exuberant 
pasture, etc., excited in the minds of the people in the Atlantic States 
which he visited an ardent and irrepressible desire to emigrate to that 
country. In 1767 John Findley, accompanied hj several persons, visited 
the West. Passing through Cumberland Gap he explored the country 
as far as the Kentucky River. Upon his return his glowing descriptions 
of the fertility of the country beyond the Cumberland Mountains excited 
the curiosity of the frontiersmen of North Carolina and Virginia no less 
than did those of Col. Smith. With reference to this journey of Findley, 
Collins says: 

"In 17(^)7 the return of Findley from his adventurous excursion into 
the unexplored wilds beyond the Cumberland Mountains, and the glow- 
ing account he gave of the richness and fertility of the new country, 
excited powerfully the curiosity and imagination of the frontier-back- 
woodsmen of Virginia and North Carolina, ever on the watch for adven- 
ture, and to whom the lonely wilderness with its perils presented attrac- 
tions which were not to be found in the close confinement and enervatina: 
inactivity of the settlements. To a man of Boone's temperament and 
tastes, the scenes described by Findley presented charms not to be 
resisted; and in 17G9 he left his family upon the Yadkin, and in company 
with five others, of whom Findley was one, he started to explore the coun- 
try of which he had heard so favorable an account. 

"Having reached a stream of water on the borders of the present State 
of Kentucky, called Red River, they built a cabin to shelter them from 
the inclemency of the weather (for the season had been very rainy), and 
divided their time between hunting and the chase, killing immense quan- 
tities of game. Nothing of particular interest .occurred until the 22d of 
December, 1769, when Boone, in company with a man named Stuart, 
being out hunting, was surprised and captured by the Indians. They 


remained with their captors seven days, till having, by a rare and power- 
ful exertion of self-control, suffering no signs of impatience to escape 
them, they succeeded in disarming the suspicions of the Indians, effected 
their escape without difficulty. * * * On regaining their 

camp they found it dismantled and deserted; the fate of its inmates was 
never ascertained, and it is worthy of remark that this is the last and 
almost only glimpse we have of Findley, the first pioneer." 

Ramsey says: " Of Findley nothing more is known than that he was 
the first hunter of Kentucky and the pilot of Boone to the dark and 
bloody ground." He also says that in December of that year (1769) 
John Stewart was killed by the Indians (quoting from Butler) " the first 
as far as is known in the hecatombs of white men, offered by the Indians 
to the god of battles in their desperate and ruthless contention for Ken- 
tucky." Boone, therefore, except possibly Findley, was the only one of 
this party of six who, passing through East Tennessee, made this explor- 
ation into Kentucky and returned. 

The events which immediately follow the above in chronological suc- 
cession have more or less relation to the Treaty of Paris, or the Peace 
of 1763, hence a brief account of that treaty is appropriate in this con- 
nection, and also from the fact that the territory, now comprising Ten- 
nessee, as well as a large amount of other territory, was by that treaty 
ceded by IVance to England. Of the effect of this treaty upon England, 
Bancroft says: 

" At the peace of 1763 the fame of England was exalted in Europe 
above that of all other nations. She had triumphed over those whom she 
called her hereditary enemies, and retained one-half a continent as a 
monument of her victories. Her American dominions extended without 
dispute, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, from the Gulf of Mexico to 
Hudson's Bay, and in her older possessions that dominion was rooted as 
firmly in the affections of the colonists as in their institutions and laws. 
•The ambition of British statesmen might well be inflamed with the desire 
of connecting the mother country and her trans- Atlantic empire by indis- 
soluble bonds of mutual interests and common liberties." 

But this treaty, howsoever great may have been its effect upon the 
majesty and grandeur of the English Government, and howsoever great 
may have been the relief obtained by the French nation, neither French 
nor English appears to have taken into account the rights or well-being 
of the independent Indian tribes, the real owners of the territory ceded 
by the one nation to the other. Not having been consulted by the great 
powers, having been in fact entirely ignored, the Indians naturally 
refused to be bound by the transfer of their country by the French to the 


English, and hence every excursion into their hunting ground was looked 
upon with jealousy, and was finally met with resistance as an invasion of 
their country, and an unwarranted encroachment iipon their rights. The 
Indians had been, in the years of their alliance with the French, pre- 
pared for this attitude toward the English, by the efforts of the people of 
the former nation to excite in the savage tribes fears of the designs of 
the English to dispossess them of their entire country. For the purpose 
of allaying as far as practicable, or removing these apprehensions, King 
George, on the 7tli of October, 1763, issued his proclamation prohibiting 
the provincial governors from granting lands or issuing land warrants to 
be located west of the mountains, or west of the sources of those streams 
flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. And all private persons were strictly 
enjoined from purchasing any lands of the Indians, such purchases 
being directed to be made, if made at all, at a general meeting or assem- 
bly of the Indians, to be held for that purpose by the governor or com- 
mander-in-chief of each colony, respectively. 

But no matter what may have been the intention of King George, of 
England, in the issuance of this proclamation, its effect upon the west- 
ward tide of immigration was imperceptible. The contagious spirit of ad- 
venture and exploration had now risen to the dignity of an epidemic. An 
avalanche of population was being precipitated upon these fertile valleys, 
hills and plains, and the proclamation of the King had no more effect 
upon these eager, moving masses than had the famous fulmination of the 
Pope against the comet. And the proclamation of the King was looked 
upon even by " the wise and virtuous George Washington and Chancellor 
Livingston " as an article to quiet the fears of the Indians while the oc- 
cupancy of their country went on all the same. In addition to the na- 
tural stimulus to this tide of immigration, of the immense advantages of 
the soil and climate, was the artificial stimulus of special grants of land 
by the provinces of Great Britain, with the approval of the crown, to offi- 
cers and soldiers who had . ^wed in the British Army against the French 
and their allies, the Indit _ .. Thus the King's proclamation was in di- 
rect contravention of the grants authorized by a previous proclamation 
of the King. By this latter mentioned, but earlier issued proclamation, 
officers and soldiers were granted lands as follows: Every person hav- 
ing the rfftik of a field officer, 5,000 acres; every captain, 3,000 acres; 
every subaltern or staff officer, 2,000 acres; every non-commissioned 
officer, 200 acres, and every private fifty acres. These officers and sol- 
diers, with scrip and military warrants in their hands, were constantly 
employed in selecting and locating their claims. These continued en- 
croachments kept the Indian tribes in a state of dissatisfaction and 


alarm, but though thus exasperated they refrained from open hostilities. 
Because of these encroachments and alarms the royal Government in- 
structed the superintendents of Indian affairs to establish boundary lines 
between the whites and Indians, and to purchase from the Indians the 
lands already occupied, to which the title had not been extinguished. 

Capt. John Stuart was at this time superintendent of southern In- 
dian affairs. On the lith of October, 17G8, Capt. Stuart concluded a 
treaty with the Cherokees at Hard Labour, S. C, by which the south- 
western boundary of Yirginia was fixed as follows: "Extending from the 
point where the northern line of North Carolina intersects the Cherokee 
hunting grounds, about thirty-six miles east of Long Island, in the Hol- 
ston Eiver; thence extending in a direct course, north by east, to Chis- 
well's Mine on the east bank of the Kanawha River, and thence down 
that stream to its junction with the Ohio." 

To follow the instructions of the royal Government in regard to pur- 
chasing the lands already occupied by the Indians was not easy of ac- 
complishment, because of the uncertainty as to which Indian tribe or 
tribes were the rightful proprietors of the soil. At the time of its ear- 
liest exploration the vast extent of country between the Ohio and Tennes- 
see Bivers was unoccupied by any Indian tribe. Indian settlements ex- 
isted on the Scioto and Miami Bivers on the north, and on the Little 
Tennessee on the south. Between these limits existed a magnificent for- 
est park, abounding in a great variety of game, which was thus the 
hunting ground of the Choctaws, Chickasaws and Cherokees of the 
south, and of the various tribes composing the Miami Confederacy of the 
north. It also served as a kind of central theater for the enactment of 
desperate conflicts of savage warriors and deadly enemies. Why this 
great extent of valuable country was, as by common consent of all the 
surrounding Indian tribes, left unoccupied will probably always remain 
unexplained except by conjecture. But though not inhabited by any 
tribe or nation, title to it was claimed by the confederacy of the Six Na- 
tions, and this confederacy, by a deputation sent to the superintendent 
of Indian affairs in the north, on the 6th of May, 1768, presented a for- 
mal remonstrance against the continued encroachments upon these lands. 
Upon consideration by the royal government of this remonstrance, in- 
structions were issued to Sir William Johnson, superintendent, to con- 
vene the chiefs and warriors of the tribes most interested. Accordingly 
this convention was held at Fort Stanwix, N. Y., October 21; 3,200 
Indians of seventeen different tribes attended, and on the 5th of Novem- 
ber a treaty and a deed of cession to the King were signed. In this the 
delegates from their respective nations declared themselves to be " the 


true and absolute proprietors of the lands thus ceded," and that they had 
"continued the line south to the Cherokee or Hogohegee Eiver because 
the same is our true bounds with the southern Indians, and that we have 
an undoubted right to the country as far south as that river." This was 
the first deed from any aboriginal tribe for any lands within the present 
boundaries of Tennessee. 

The Waiau{)a Settlement. — Dr. Thomas Walker was Virginia's com- 
missioner to the convention at Fort Stanwix. Upon his return he brought 
with him the news of the cession. At the treaty at Hard Labour the In- 
dians had assented to an expulsion of the Holston settlements, and as a 
consequence the nucleus was formed of the first permanent settlement 
within the limits of Tennessee, in the latter part of December, 1768, and 
the early part of January, 1769. It was merely an enlargement of the 
Virginia settlements, and was believed to be in Virginia — the boundary 
line between Virginia and North Carolina not having been established 
west of Steep Eock. The settlers were principally from North Carolina, 
and some of them had been among the troops raised by that province and 
sent in 1760 to the relief of Fort Loudon, and others had wintered in 
1758 at Fort Long Island, around which a temporary settlement had 
been made but broken up. 

About the time of the incipiency of the Watauga settlement Capt. 
William Bean came from Pittsylvania County, Va., and settled with his 
family on Boone's Creek, a tributary of the Watauga. His son, Kussell 
Bean, was the first white child born in Tennessee. Bean's Station was 
named after him. About a month after Daniel Boone' " left his peaceful 
habitation on the Yadkin River, in quest of the country of Kentucky," 
a large company was formed for the purpose of exploring and hunting in 
Middle Tennessee. Some of them were from North Carolina, some from 
the vicinity of the Natural Bridge and others from Ingle's Ferry, Va. 
Some of their names are here introduced: John Rains, Casper Mansker, 
Abraham. Bledsoe, John Baker, Joseph Drake, Obadiah Terrell, Uriah 
Stone, Henry Smith, Ned Cowan and Robert Crockett. They established 
a rendezvous on New River, eight miles below Fort Chissel, and passing 
through Cumberland Gap, discovered southern Kentucky and fixed a 
station camp at what has since been known as Price's Meadow, in Wayne 
County. Robert Crockett was killed near the head waters of Roaring 
River, and after hunting eight or nine months the rest of the party 
returned home in April, 1770. After their return a party of about forty 
stout hunters was formed for the purpose of hunting and trapping west 
of the Cumberland. This party was led by Col. James Knox, who, with 
nine others, reached the lower Cumberland, and after a long absence, 


having made an extensive tour, returned liome and won the appellation 
of the " Long Hunters." 

The settlement on the Watauga continued to receive considerable 
accessions to its numbers, both from North and South Carolina and Vir- 
ginia. This was in part because of the comparatively unproductive hills 
and vallevs of those provinces and because of the absence of courts in 
South Carolina outside of the capital of the State previous to 1770. In 
this latter province the people felt under the necessity of taking the law 
into their own hands, and punished offenders by organized bodies of 
regulators. The regulators were opposed by the Scovilites, so named 
after their leader Scovil, who was commissioned by the governor to 
operate against the regulators, and from North Carolina the inhabitants 
were driven in part by the determination of the British Government to 
quarter troops in America at the expense of the colonies and to raise a 
revenue by a general stamp duty. After the defeat of the regulators by' 
Gov. Tryon on the Alamance May 16, 1771, numbers of them proceeaed 
to the mountains and found a cordial welcome in Watauga, remote from 
official power and oppression. While these movements were in progress 
the settlements were spreading beyond the limits established at Hard 
Labour and a new boundary had been agreed upon by a new treaty signed 
at Lochaber October 18, 1770. The new line extended from the south 
branch of Holston River, six miles east of Long Island, to the mouth of 
the Great Kanawha. 

At that time the Holston River was considered the boundary line 
between Virginia' and North Carolina. The Legislature of Virginia 
passed an act granting to every actual settler having a log cabin erected 
and some ground cultivated the right to 400 acres of land so located as 
to include his improvement, and subsequently extended the right to each 
settler to purchase 1,000 acres adjoining at a merely nominal cost. This 
generous action on the part of the Legislature of Virginia greatly stim- 
ulated immigration to the West, where every man could easily secure a 
valuable estate. Crowds immediately advanced to secure the proffered 
fortune, and afterward, when the boundary line was run, they found them- 
selves in North Carolina. But most of the new arrivals at Watauga 
came from North Carolina. Among those who came about this time was 
Daniel Boone, at the head of a party of immigrants, he acting merely as 
guide, which he continued to do until his death in 1820 or 1822. 

Early in 1770 came James Robertson, from Wake County, N. C, 
who, henceforth, for many years was destined to be one of the most use-* 
ful and prominent of the pioneers of Tennessee. He visited the new 
settlements forming on the Watauga, and found a settler named Honey- 


cutt living ill a liiit, who furnished him with food. On his return home 
he lost his way, and after wandering about for some time, nearly starving 
to death, he at length reached home in safety and soon afterward settled 
on the Watauga. During this same year hunting was carried on in the 
lower Cumberland country by a party composed of Mr. Mausker, Uriah 
Stone, John Baker, Thomas Gordon, Humphrey Hogan and Cadi Brook 
and four others. * They built two boats and two trapping canoes, loaded 
them with the results of their hunting and descended the Cumberland, 
the first navigation and commerce probably carried on upon that stream. 
Where Nashville now stands they discovered the French Lick, surrounded 
by immense numbers of buifalo and other wild game. Near the lick on 
a mound they found a stock fort, built, as they thought, by the Cherokees 
on their retreat from the battle at Chickasaw Old Fields. The party 
descended the Cumberland to the Ohio, met John Brown, the mountain 
leader, marching against the Senecas, descended the Ohio, meeting 
Frenchmen trading with the Illinois, and continued their voyage to 
Natchez, where some of them remained, while Mansker and Baker 
returned to New River. 

In the autumn of 1771 the lower Cumberland was further explored 
by Mansker, John Montgomery, Isaac Bledsoe, Joseph Drake, Henry 
Suggs, James Knox, William and David Lynch, Christopher Stoph and 
William Allen. The names of most of this company are now connected 
with different natural objects, as Mansker's Lick, Drake's Pond, Drake's 
Lick, Bledsoe's Lick, etc. After hunting some time and exhausting 
their ammunition they returned to the settlements. 

In the meantime the Holston and Watauga settlements were receiv- 
ing a steady stream of emigration. Most of those who came were honest, 
industrious pioneers, but there were those who did not posess these char- 
acteristics. These had fled from justice, hoping that in the almost in- 
accessible retreats of the frontiers to escape the punishment due them 
for their crimes. Here, from the necessities of their surroundings, they 
did find safety from prosecution and conviction. The inhabitants north 
of the Holston believing themselves to be in Virginia, agreed to be 
governed by the laws of that province. South of Holston was admitted 
to be in North Carolina, and here the settlers lived without law or pro- 
tection except by such regulations as they themselves adopted.* 

In 1772 Virginia made a treaty with the Cherokees by which it was 
decided to run a boundary line west from White Top Mountain in latitude 
thirty-six degrees thirty minutes. Soon after a deputy agent for the Gov- 
ernment of Great Britain, Alexander Cameron, resident among the Clier- 

*See chapter on organization. 


okees, ordered the settlers on the Watauga to move off. But some of 
the Cherokees expressing a wish that they might be permitted to remain 
provided no further encroachments were made, the necessity for their re- 
moval was avoided. But being still uneasy the settlers deputed James 
Robertson and John Boone to negotiate with the Indians for a lease. 
The deputies succeeded in effecting a lease for eight years for about 
$5,000 worth of merchandise, some muskets and other articles. 

About this time the Nollichucky Yalley was settled by Jacob Brown 
and one or two others upon the northern bank of the river. These fami- 
lies were from North Carolina. Brown bought a lease of a large tract of 
land with a small quantity of goods which he had brought from his for- 
mer home on his pack horse. A little before Brown made his settlement 
on the Nollichucky, Carter's Yalley was settled by Carter, Parker and 
others from Virginia, Carter's Yalley being north of the Holston was 
thought to be in Virginia. Carter & Parker opened a small store which 
was soon afterward robbed by the Indians, it Avas supposed by the Chero- 
kees, but no serious consequences followed. But the wanton killing of 
an Indian at the time of the execution of the Watauga lease, came near 
precipitating a conflict between the two races, which might have entirely 
destroyed the frontier settlements. James Robertson came to their re- 
lief and by his wisdom and intrepidity saved them from extermination by 
the outraged Cherokees. Robertson made a journey of 150 miles, and by 
his courage, calmness and fairness, by his assurances to the Indians that 
the white men intended to punish the murderer as soon as he could be 
found, saved the settlers from the fury of the savages. 

Two important events followed, viz. : The battle of Point Pleasant, and 
Henderson's Treaty. (For account of these events see elsewhere.) By 
this treaty of Henderson' all that tract of country lying between the 
Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers was relinquished to Henderson and 
his associates. This purchase was named Transylvania, and the estab- 
lishment of an independent government was at first, contemplated. Dur- 
ing the progress of this treaty which was concluded at Sycamore Shoals, 
Carter & Parker whose store had been robbed by Indians, as narrated 
above, demanded, in compensation for the loss inflicted upon them. Car- 
ter's Valley, to extend from Cloud's Creek to the Chimney Top Moun- 
tain of Beech Creek. The Indians consented to this upon the condition 
of additional consideration, and in order to enable them to advance the 
price Messrs. Carter & Parker took Robert Lucas into partnership. 
These lands were afterward found to be in North Carolina. 

The Watauga Association, holding their lands under an eight years' 
lease, were desirous of obtaining a title in fee. Two days after the Hen- 


•tier son purchase they succeeded in securing a deed of conveyance to 
Charles Eobertson of a large extent of country. It was made March 19, 
1775, and is recorded in the register's office of Washington County. 
This deed was signed by Oconostota, Attakullakulla, Tenassee War- 
rior and Willinawaugh in presence of John Sevier, William Bailey 
Smith, Jesse Benton, Tillman Dixon, William Blevins and Thomas 
Price, and conveyed for the sum of £2,000 lawful money of Great 
Britain, all that tract of land, including all the waters of the Watauga, 
part of the waters of Holston and the head branches of New Biver, or 
Great Kanawha. These lands were afterward regularly patented to the 
settlers, the first patentee being Joshua Haughton. But it is proper here 
to refer to a deed to Jacob Brown by which for the consideration of 10 
shillings, a "principality" was conveyed to him embracing much of the 
best land in Washington and Greene Counties. This deed was dated 
March 25, 1775. 

At this time the colonial government claimed the exclusive right to 
purchase lands of the Indians as one of the prerogatives of sovereignty, 
and Gov. Martin pronounced the purchase, at Watauga, of the Cher- 
okee lands illegal, alleging in his proclamation against it that it was 
made in violation of the king's proclamation of October 7, 1763, the effect 
of which proclamation has been already described as a hrutum fulmen. 
This proclamation of Gov. Martin was equally harmless. 

The Watauga settlement constantly increased in numbers, and the 
tribunal consisting of five commissioners chosen by themselves settled 
all controversies arising among the people. Its sessions were held at 
regular intervals, and its business increased with the growth of the colony. 
No records of this court have been discovered, but while searching among 
the public papers of North Carolina, Dr. Bamsey found a petition fi-om 
the Watauga settlement praying to be annexed to North Carolina as a 
county, as a district, or as some other division. This petition is without 
a date, and is in the hand-writing of John Sevier. The chairman of the 
meeting which adopted it was John Carter, whose grandson was chairman 
of the Constitutional Convention of 1834. The petition was received by 
the general assembly of North Carolina, August 22, 1776, and was 
signed by 112 persons. It commences thus: "The humble petition of 
the inhabitants of Washington District, including the Biver Wataugah, 
Nonachuckie, etc., in committee assembled, humbly sheweth, etc." The 
committee who drew up this petition were as follows : John Carter, 
chairman; Charles Bobertson, James Bobertson, Zachariah Isbell, John 
Sevier, James Smith, Jacob Brown, William Bean, John Jones, George 
Bussell, Jacob Womack and Bobert Lucas. The name Washington Dis- 


trict is believed to have been suggested bj Joliii Sevier, and thus the 
pioneers of Tennessee were probably the first to honor Washington. 

The Provincial Congress convened at Halifax, November 12, 1776^ 
and continued in session until December 18. From " Washington Dis- 
trict, Watauga Settlement," were present John Carter, Charles Eobert- 
son, John Haile and John Sevier ; Jacob Womack was elected, but did 
not attend. A bill of rights and a State constitution were adopted, in 
the former of which the limits of the State are made to extend westward 
"so far as is mentioned in the charter of King Charles the Second, to 
the late proprietors of Carolina." The following clause is also in the 
Declaration of Rights, "That it shall not be construed so as to prevent the 
establishment of one or more governments westward of this State, by 
consent of the Legislature." 

While these events were in progress, other events were either tran- 
spiring or in embryo, which were of transcendent importance to the 
three centers of settlement — at Carter's at Watauga, and at Brown's. 
Difficulties between Great Britain and her American colonies had already 
commenced, the dawn of the American Eevolution was at hand. Every 
means was to be employed by the mother country in reducing to submis- 
sion her refractory subjects, one of those measures being to arm the 
neighboring Indian tribes and to stimulate them to fall upon and destroy 
the feeble settlements on the frontier. 

The war with the Cherokees having happily come to an end, and 
prosperity having returned to the settlements, a treaty was made with 
them, and signed July 20, 1777. In April of that year the Legislature 
of North Carolina passed an act for the purpose of encouraging the 
militia and volunteers in prosecuting the war against the Cherokees. 

At the same session an act was passed establishing Washington Dis- 
trict, appointing justices of the peace, and establishing courts of pleas 
and quarter sessions. In November following, Washington County was 
created, to which was assigned the entire territory of the present State of 
Tennessee. A land office was provided for in Washington County, and 
each head of a family was permitted to take up for himself G40 acres of 
land, for his wife 100 acres, and 100 acres for each of his children. The 
ease and small expense with which land entries could be made, led 
numerous poor men westward, for without a dollar in his pocket the 
immigrant, upon arriving at the distant frontier, and upon selecting a 
homestead, at once became a large land-owner, and almost instantaneously 
acquired a competency and an independency for himself and his family. 
These men brought no wealth, but they did bring what was of more 
value — industry, frugality, hardihood, courage, economy and self-reli- 


ance — and of such material was the foundation of society in the future 
great State of Tennessee composed. During this year a road was laid 
out and marked from the court house in Washington County to the 
county of Burke; and the first house covered with shingles was put up a 
few miles east of where Jonesboro now stands. In 1778 the Warm 
Springs on the French Broad were accidentally discovered by Henry 
Reynolds and Thomas Morgan. 

By the treaty made at Watauga in March, 1775, which has been al- 
ready alluded to, the Cherokees deeded to Henderson & Co. all the lands 
between the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers. A portion of this pur- 
chase was within the supposed boundary of North Carolina, and numbers 
of explorers continued to pass through Cumberland Gap on their way to 
Middle Tennessee. Among them Mansker renewed his visits in Novem- 
ber, 1775, and accompanied by Bryant and others encamped at Mansker 
Lick. Mansker and three others remained hunting and trapping on the 
Sulphur Fork of Red River. Thomas Sharp, Holliday, Spencer and 
others came in 177() to the Cumberland and built a number of cabins. 
The rest returning, Spencer and Holliday remained until 1779. Capt. 
De Munbreun came to Middle Tennessee about 1775 and established his 
residence at Eaton's Station. He hunted through Montgomery County, 
and during the summer of 1777 he saw some parties at Deacon's Pond, 
near the present site of Palmyra. In 1778 a settlement was formed near 
Bledsoe's Lick in the heart of the Chickasaw Nation, and about the Same 
time a party of French erected a trading post at '• The Bluff," with the 
approval of the Chickasaws. Other parties kept coming to the lower 
Cumberland. Richard -Hogan, Spencer, Holliday and others were there, 
and in the spring of 1778 they planted a small field of corn, the first 
plantation in Middle Tennessee. A large hollow tree stood near Bled- 
soe's Lick in which Spencer lived. Holliday, becoming dissatisfied, was 
determined to leave the country, and Spencer, unable to dissuade him 
from his purpose, accompanied him to the barrens of Kentucky, breaking 
and giving to Holliday one half of his own knife, and returned to his 
hollow tree, where he spent the remainder of the winter. Spencer was 
a very large man, and one morning, having passed the cabin occupied by 
one of De Munbreun' s hunters, and left his immense tracks in the rich 
alluvial soil, which were discovered by the hunter on his return, the hun- 
ter became affrighted, immediately swam the Cumberland and wandered 
through the woods until he reached the French settlements on the Wa- 

In 1779 there was nothing in the valley of the lower Cumberland, 
except the hunter's camp and the lonely log habitation of Spencer. But 


in the spring of that year a small party of brave pioneers left the parent 
settlement on the Watauga, crossed the Cumberland Mountains, and, ar- 
riving at the French Lick, pitched their tents and planted a field of corn 
on the present site of Nashville. This was near the lower ferry, and the 
party consisted of Capt. James Robertson, George Freeland, William 
Neely, Edward Swanson, James Hanly, Mark Robertson, Zachariah 
White and William Overall. A number of others, piloted by Mansker, 
soon joined this party. Having put in their crop of corn White, Swanson 
nnd Overall remained to care for it, while the rest returned to their 
families, Capt. Robertson by the way of Illinois to see Gen. George 
Rogers Clarke. Upon their return to the Watauga John Rains and 
others were persuaded to accompany Robertson to the French Lick. 
Other companies also were induced to join them, and at length a party of 
from 200 to 300 was collected, which in the fall started to the new settle- 
ment Avhere Nashville now stands. Their route lay through Cumberland 
Gap and along the Kentucky trace to Whitley's Station; thence to Car- 
penter's Station, on Green River; thence to Robertson's Fork; thence 
down Green River to Pitman's Station; thence crossing and descending 
that river to Little Barren, crossing it at Elk Lick ; thence past the Blue 
and Dripping Springs to Big Barren; thence up Drake's Creek to a bitu- 
minous spring ; thence to the Maple Swamp ; thence to Red River at 
Kilgore's Station; thence to Mansker's Creek and thence to the French 
Lick. The time consumed in this journey does not appear, but it was 
longer than was anticipated, on account of the depth of the snow and the 
inclemency of the weather, and they did not arrive at their destination 
until about the beginning of the year 1780. Som^ of them remained on 
the north side of the Cumberland and settled at or near Eaton's Station, 
but most of them, immediately after their arrival, crossed the river upon 
the ice, and settled where Nashville now stands. Both parties,, those 
who remained on the north side of the river and those who crossed over 
to the south side, built block-houses, connected by stockades, as a defense 
against possible, and as they believed probable, future attacks upon them 
by the Indians, and the logic of events proved the wisdom of their course. 
Freeland' s Station was established about this time, and likewise Dead- 
erick's Station by John Rains. 

While these brave and hardy adventurers were pursuing their peril- 
ous journey through the wilderness of Kentucky and Tennessee, several 
boat loads of other adventurers, no less brave and no less hardy, were 
pursuing even a still more perilous journey down the Tennessee, up the 
Ohio and up the Cumberland, having in view the same objective point. 
This latter party was composed of friends and relatives of the former to 


a considerable extent. They started from Fort Patrick Henry, near 
Long Island, and were commanded by Col. John Donelson, the projector 
of the voyage. Col. Donelson kept a journal, giving full particulars of 
the remarkable adventure, the principal parts of which are here inserted: 
" Journal of a voyage intended, by God's permission, in the good 
boat 'Adventure,' from Fort Patrick Henry on Holston Eiver to the French 
Salt Spring on Cumberland Eiver, kept by John Donaldson. 

" December 22, 1779. — Took our departure from the fort and fell 
down the river to the mouth of Keedy Creek, where we were stopped by 
the fall of water and most excessive hard frost, and after much delay and 
many difficulties we arrived at the mouth of Cloud's Creek on Sunday 
evening the 20th of February, 1780, where we lay by until Sunday, 27th, 
when we took our departure with sundry other vessels, bound for the 
same voyage, and on the same day struck the Poor Valley Shoal, to- 
gether with Mr. Boyd and Mr. Rounsifer, on which shoal we lay th^,t 
afternoon and succeeding night in great distress. 

"Monday, February 28, 1780.— In the morning, the water rising, we 
got off the shoal, after landing thirty persons to lighten the boat. In 
attempting to land on an island we received some damage and lost sundry 
articles, and came to camp on the south shore, where we joined sundry 
other vessels, also bound down. ******* 

"March 2d. — Rain about half the day; passed the mouth of French 
Broad River, and about 12 o'clock, Mr. Henrys boat being driven on the 
point of an island by the force of the current, was sunk, the whole cargo 
much damaged and the crew's lives much endangered, which occasioned 
the whole fleet to put on shore and go to their assistance, but with much 
difficulty bailed her in order to take in her cargo again. The same af- 
ternoon Reuben Harrison went out a hunting and did not return that 
night, though many guns were fired to fetch him in. 

" March 3d. — Early in the morning fired a four-pounder for the lost 
man ; sent out sundry persons to search the woods for him ; firing many 
guns that day and the succeeding night, but all without success, to the 
great grief of his parents and fellow travelers. 

" Saturday 4th. — Proceeded on our voyage, leaving old Mr. Harrison 
with some other vessels to make further search for his lost son. About 10 
o'clock the same day, found him a considerable distance down the river, 
where Mr. Benjamin Belew took him on board his boat. At 3 o'clock P. 
M., passed the mouth of Tennessee River, and camped on the south shore 
about ten miles below the Tennessee. 

" Sunday 5th. — Cast off and got under way before sunrise; 12 o'clock 
passed the mouth of Clinch; came up with the Clinch River Company, 
whom he joined and camped, the evening proving rainy. 


" Monday 6th. — Got under way before sunrise. * * * * 

Camped on the north shore where Capt. Hutching' s negro man died, 
being much frosted in his feet and legs, of which he died. 

" Tuesday 7th. — Got under way very early, the day proving very 
windy, at S. S. W., and the river being wide occasioned a high sea, inso- 
much that some of the smaller crafts were in danger ; therefore came to at the 
uppermost Chickamauga town, which was then evacuated, where \7e lay by 
that afternoon and camped that night. The wife of Ephraim was here 
delivered of a child. Mr. Peyton has gone through by land with Capt. 

" Wednesday 8th. — Cast off at 10 o'clock and proceeded down to an 
Indian village, which was inhabited, on the south side of the river ; they 
insisted on us to ' come ashore,' called us brothers, and showed other 
signs of friendship, insomuch that Mr. John Caffrey and my son then 
on board took a canoe, which I had in tow, and were crossing over to 
them, the rest of the fleet having landed on the opposite shore. After they 
had gone some distance a half-breed, who called himself Archy Coody, 
with several other Indians, jumped into a canoe, met them, and advised 
them to return to the boat, which they did, together with Coody and sev- 
eral canoes which left the shore and followed directly after him. They 
appeared to be friendly. After distributing some presents among them, 
with which they seemed much pleased, we observed a number of Indians 
on the other side embarking in their canoes, armed and painted in red 
and black. Coody immediately made signs to his companions, ordering 
them to quit the boat, which they did; himself and another Indian re- 
maining with us, and telling us to move off instantly. We had not gone 
far before we discovered a number of Indians armed and painted, pro- 
ceeding down the river as it were to intercept us. Coody the half-breed 
and his com2:)anion sailed witli us for some time, and telling us that we 
had passed all the towns and were out of danger, left us. But we had 
not gone far until we had come in sight of another town situated likewise 
on the south side of the river, nearly opposite a small island. Here they 
again invited us to come on shore, called us brothers, and observing the 
boats standing off for the opposite channel, told us that ' their side of the 
river was better for the boats to pass.' And here we must regret the 
unfortunate death of young Mr. Payne, on board Capt. Blackmore's 
boat, who was mortally wounded by reason of the boat running too near 
the northern shore opposite the town, where some of the enemies lay con- 
cealed, and the more tragical misfortune of poor Stuart, his family and 
friends, to the number of twenty-eight persons. This man had embarked 
with us for the western country, but his family being diseased with the 


small-pox, it was agreed upon between him and the company that he 
should keep at some distance in the rear, for fear of the infection spread- 
ing, and he was warned each night when the encampment should take 
place by the sound of a horn. After we had passed the town, the 
Indians, having now collected to a considerable number, observing his 
helpless situation, singled off from the rest of the fleet, intercepted him, 
and killed and took prisoners the whole crew, to the great grief of the 
whole company, uncertain how soon they might share the same fate ; their 
cries were distinctly heard by those boats in the rear. 

"We still perceived them marching down the river in considerable 
bodies, keeping pace with us until the Cumberland Mountain withdrew 
them from our sight, when we were in hopes we had escaped them. We 
were now arrived at the place called the Whirl or Suck, where the river is 
compressed within less than half its common width above, by the Cumber- 
land Mountain, which juts in on both sides. In passing through the upper 
part of these narrows, at a place described by Coody, which he termed 
the "Boiling Pot," a trivial accident had nearly ruined the expedition. 
One of the company, John Cotton, who was moving down in a large 
canoe, had attached it to Robert Cartwright's boat, into which he and his 
family had gone for safety. The canoe was here overturned and the 
little cargo lost. The company, pitying his distress, concluded to halt 
and assist him in recovering his property. They had landed on the 
northern shore at a level spot, and were going up to the place, when the 
Indians, to our astonishment, appeared immediately over us on the oppo- 
site cliffs, and commenced firing down upon us, which occasioned a 
precipitate retreat to the boats. We immediately moved off ; the Indians 
lining the bluffs along continued their fire from the heights on our boats 
below, without doing any other injury than wounding four slightly. 
Jennings' boat was missing. 

" We have now passed through the Whirl. The river widens with a 
placid and gentle current, and all the company appear to be in safety 
except the family of Jonathan Jennings, whose boat ran on a large rock 
projecting out from the northern shore, and was partly immersed in water 
immediately at the Whirl, where we were compelled to leave them, 
porhaps to be slaughtered by their merciless enemies. Continued to sail 
on that day and floated throughout the following night. * * * 

" Friday 10th. — This morning about 4 o'clock we were surprised by 
the cries of " help poor Jennings " at some distance in the rear. He 
had discovered us by our fires, and came up in the most wretched condi- 
tion. He states that as soon as the Indians discovered his situation they 
turned their whole attention to him, and kept up a most galling fire at 


his boat. He ordered liis wife, a sou nearly grown, a young man who 
accompanied them, and his negro man and woman, to throw all his goods 
into the river, to lighten their boat for the purpose of getting her off, 
himself returning their fire as well as he could, being a good soldier and 
an expert marksman. But before they had accomplished their object 
his son, the young man, and the negro, jumped out of the boat and left 
them. Mr. Jennings, however, and the negro woman succeeded in 
unloading the boat, but chiefly through the efforts of Mrs. Jennings, who 
got out of the boat and shoved her off , but was near falling a victim to 
her own intrepidity on account of the boat starting so suddenly as soon 
as loosened from the rock. Upon examination he appears to have made 
a wonderful escape, for his boat is pierced in numberless places with 
bullets. It is to be remarked that Mrs. Peyton, who was the night before 
delivered of an infant, which was unfortunately killed upon the hurry 
and confusion consequent upon such a disaster, assisted them, being 
frequently exposed to wet and cold then and afterward, and that her 
health appears to be good at this time and I think and hope she will do 
well. Their clothes were much cut with bullets especially Mrs. Jen- 

Til n o*Gi ^ tf ^ '1^ TF ^ Tjc 

"Sunday 12th. — Set out, and after a few hours' sailing heard the 
crowing of cocks and soon came within view of the town ; here they fired 
on us again without doing any injury. 

" After running until about 10 o'clock came in sight of the Muscle 
Shoals. Halted on the northern shore at the appearance of the shoals, 
to search for the signs Capt. James Robertson was to make for us at that 
place. He set out from Holston early in the fall of 1779, was to proceed 
by the way of Kentucky to the Big Salt Lick on Cumberland River, with 
several others in company, was to come across from the Big Salt Lick 
to the upper end of the shoals, there to make such signs that we might 
know he had been there and that it was practicable for us to go across 
by land. But to our great mortification we can find none — from which 
we conclude that it would not be prudent to make the attempt, and are 
determined, knowing ourselves to be in such imminent danger, to pursue 
our journey down the river. After trimming our boats in the best 
manner possible we ran through the shoals before night. * * * 
Our boats frequently dragged on the bottom; * * * they 

warped as much as in a rough sea. But by the hand of Providence we 
are preserved from this danger also. I know not the length of this 
wonderful shoal ; it had been represented to me to be twenty-five or thirty 
miles. If so we must have descended very rapidly, as indeed we did, for 
we passed it in about thf ee hours. ****** 


"Wednesday 15tli. — Got under way and moved on peaceably tlie five 
following days, Avhen we arrived at the mouth of the Tennessee on Mon- 
day, the 20th, and landed on the lower point immediately on the bank of 
the Ohio. Our situation here is truly disagreeable. The river is very 
high and the current rapid, our boats not constructed for the purpose of 
stemming a rapid stream, our provisions exhausted, the crews almost 
worn down with hunger and fatigue, and we know not what distance we 
have to go, or what time it will take us to reach our place of destination. 
The scene is rendered still more melancholy, as several boats will not attempt 
to ascend the rapid current. Some intend to descend the Mississippi to 
Natchez, others are bound for the Illinois — among the rest my son-in-law 
and daughter. We now part perhaps to meet no more, for I am deter- 
mined to pursue my course, happen what will. * * * * 

" Friday 24th. — About 3 o'clock came to the mouth of a river which 
I thought was the Cumberland. Some o^ the company declared it could 
not be — it was so much smaller than was expected. But I never heard 
of any river running in between the Cumberland and Tennessee. We 
determined, however, to make the trial, pushed up some distance and 
encamped for the night. 

"Saturday, 25th. — To-day we are much encouraged. The river 
grows wider; the current is gentle and we are now convinced it is the 
Cumberland. ******* 

"Friday, 31st. — Set out this day, and after running some distance met 
with Col. Kichard Henderson, who was running the line between Virginia 
and North Carolina. At this meeting we were much rejoiced. * * * 
Camped at night near the mouth of a little river, at which place and below 
there is a handsome bottom of rich land. Here we found a pair of 
hewed mill-stones, set up for grinding, but appearing not to have been 
used for a long time. 

"Proceeded on quietly until the 12th of April, at which time we came 
to the mouth of a little river running in on the north side, by Moses Een- 
froe and his company, called Red Eiver, upon which they intended to settle. 
Here they took leave of us. We proceeded up the Cumberland, nothing 
happening material until the 23d, when we reached the first settlement on 
the north side of the river, one mile and a half below the Big Salt Lick, 
and called Eaton's Station, after a man of that name, who with several 
other families came through Kentucky and settled there. 

"Monday, April 24th. — -This day we arrived at our journey's end, at 
the Big Salt Lick, where we have the pleasure of finding Capt. Robertson 
and his company. It is a source of satisfaction to us to be enabled to 
restore to him and others their families and friends, who were intrusted 


to our care, and who some time since, perhaps, they despaired of ever 
meeting again. Though our prospects at present are dreary, we have 
found a few log cabins, which have been built on a cedar bluff above 
the Lick by Capt. Robertson and his company." 

This journal here presented may be found in full in Ramsey. In 
copying out of his work, unimportant portions have been omitted for the 
sake of saving space. This emigration of Col. Donelson ranks as one of 
the most remarkable achievements in the settlement of the West, and as 
the names of the participators in the expedition have far more than a 
local interest, they are here inserted: John Donelson, Sr., Thomas Hutch- 
ings, John Caffrey, John Donelson, Jr., Mrs. James Robertson and five 
children, Mrs. Purnell, M. Rounsifer, James Cain, Isaac Neelly, Jona- 
than Jennings, Benjamin Belew, Peter Looney, Capt. John Blackmore, 
Moses Renfroe, William Crutchfield, James Johns, Hugh Henry, Sr., 
Benjamin Porter, Mrs. Mary Henry (widow), Frank Armstrong, Hugh 
Rogan, Daniel Chambers, Robert Cartwright, Mr. Stuart, David Gwinn, 
John Boyd, Reuben Harrison, Frank Haney, Mr. Maxwell, John Mont- 
gomery, John Cotton, Thomas Henry, John Cockrell, John White, Sol- 
omon White and Mr. Payne. The above list of names is copied from 
Putnam. Ramsey gives these additional ones: Isaac Lanier, Daniel 
Dunham, Joseph and James Renfroe, Solomon Turpin and John Gibson. 
There were other persons, men, women and children, whose names have 
not been -preserved. The total number of persons in this expedition is 
not known, but from the best information obtainable there were at least 
thirty boats in the entire fleet, no one of which contained less than two 

With reference to the fate of the three young men who ran away from 
Mr. Jennings, when his boat was attacked, as narrated in Capt. Donel- 
son's journal, authorities are not agreed. Ramsey and John Carr agree 
in stating that the negro man was drowned, and that the young man, whose 
name is not given, was taken to Chickamauga Town, where he was killed and 
burned, and that young Jennings was ransomed by an Indian trader named 
Rogers, and afterward restored to his parents. Putnam, however, doubts 
the correctness of this narration, especially so far as it refers to the burn- 
ing of the young man. He says "such cruelty and crime have not been 
clearly proven against them (the Indians)." But as both Ramsey and 
Carr say "they killed and burned the young man," it may justly be inferred 
that the "burning occurred after the killing," or, in other words, they 
killed and then burned the body of the young man, and thus the "cruelty 
and crime" would consist in the killine: and not in the burninof. 

The capture of Stuart's boat and crew, among wdiom were the several 


cases of small-pox, as narrated in Capt. Donelson's journal, resulted in 
great mortality among tlie Indians, many of whom were attacked by the 
disease with fatal results. It is said that when attacked and when the 
fever was upon them they took a "heavy sweat" in their houses, and then 
leaped into the river, the remedy being no less fatal than the disease 
itself. Putnam quotes approvingly from the "narrative of Col. Joseph 
Brown," that this mortality was " a judgment upon the Indians," though 
just how it can have been a judgment upon the Indians, any more tharkit 
and the capture and killing of so many of Stuart's family was a judgment 
on them, is not easily discernible. 


Settlement Concluded— Results of Donelson's Voyage— The French Lick 
— The Establishment of Many Block-houses, Stations, Etc. — The Long 
Reign of Trying Times— The Military Warrants and Grants— Pioneer 
Customs— Government of the Cumberland Colony — The Emigrant 
Road— Col. Brown's Disastrous Voyage— North Carolina's Neglect of 
THE Colonies— Their Isolation and Suffering — The Tennessee Land 
Company — National Executive Interference — Designs of the Compa- 
nies Thwarted by the Effective Acts of the Citizens of Georgia- 
Summary OF Tennessee Land Grants — The Western Purchase — The 
CiiiCKASAWs — Entry of the Whites into West Tennessee — The Bluffs — 
Permanent Settlement — Incidents and Anecdotes. 

THE principal results of the emigration of Col. Donelsonto Middle Ten- 
nessee were the establishment of the settlements at and near the 
Bluff and the subsequent formation of an independent government May 
1, 1780, a number of years before the organization of the State of Frank- 
lin. Some of these early settlers plunged at once into the adjoining for- 
ests. Col. Donelson himself, with his family, being one of the number. 
He went up the Cumberland, and erected a small fort at a place since 
called Clover Bottom, ner.r Stone River, and on the south side of that 
stream. Dr. Walker, Virginia's commissioner for running the boundary 
line between that State and North Carolina, arrived at the Bluff, accom- 
panied by Col. Richard Henderson and his two brothers, Nathaniel and 
Pleasant. Col. Henderson erected a station on Stone River, remained 
there some time, and sold lands under the deed made to himself and part- 
ners at Watauga in March, 1775, by the Cherokees. The price charged 
for this land by Col. Henderson was $10 per 1,000 acres. The certifi- 
cate of purchase contained a clause by which it was set forth that pay- 
ment for the land was conditioned on the confirmation of the Henderson 


treaty by the j^roper authorities; but both the States o£ Virginia and 
North Carolina annulled his title, or rather declared it to be null and 
void ab inifio, and refused to recognize the sales made by him or his com- 
pany, and purchasers on contracts made with him were never urged to 
make payment for their lands. But notwithstanding the fact that the 
two States decided that the Transylvania Company had not by the pur- 
chase acquired any title to the lands, on the ground that private individ- 
uals had no power or right to make treaties with Indian tribes, yet they 
at the same time decided that the Indians had divested themselves of 
their title to them, and hence Transylvania became divided between the 
two States of North Carolina and Virginia. But each State, on account 
of the expenditures of the company and the labor to which they had been 
and the interest manifested by them in the welfare of the early settlers, 
made to them a grant of 200,000 acres. The Virginia grant was on 
the Ohio River in what is now Henderson County, Ky., and the North 
Carolina grant was bounded as follows: "Beginning at the old Indian 
town in Powell's Valley, running down Powell's Eiver not less than four 
miles in width on one or both sides thereof to the junction of Powell and 
Clinch Bivers ; then down Clinch Biver on one or both sides not less than 
twelve miles in width for the aforesaid complement of 200,000 acres." 
The remaining part of the land was devoted to public uses. 

The little band of immigrants at the Bluff were in the midst of a vast 
extent of country a];^parently uninhabited by Indians, Savage tribes were 
to be found in all directions, but toward the south none were known to be 
north of the Tennessee, and toward the north none were known to h& 
south of the Ohio. Apparently no lands within or near the new settle- 
ments were claimed by Creek or Cherokee, Chickasaw or Choctaw ; hence 
a sense of safety soon manifested itself among the pioneers, and hence, 
also, many of them began to erect cabins for individual homes in the wild 
woods, on the barrens or on the prairie where no pathway or trace of 
animal or human could be seen; and in their anxiety to make improve- 
ments on their individual claims and to become independent, many of 
the more thoughtless of them were reluctant to devote much of their 
time and labor to the erection of forts, stockades and palisades to which 
all could retreat for mutual defense in case of an attack by the now 
apparently harmless lords of the soil. But this desire, laudable though 
it was when not carried to the extreme of imprudence, was by the wise 
and experienced among them sufficently repressed to secure an agree- 
ment on the part of all to give a portion of their valuable time to the 
erection of a few forts and depositories for arms, ammunition and pro- 


The fort at the Bluffs, called Nashborough, in honor of Francis Nash, 
of North Carolina, a brigadier-general in the Continental Army, was to 
be the principal fort and headquarters for all. The others were as fol- 
lows: Freeland's, at the spring in North Nashville; Eaton's, upon the 
east side of the river upon the first highland at the river bank; Gasper's, 
about ten miles north at the sulphur spring where now stands the town 
of Goodlettsville ; Asher's, on Station Camp Creek, on the bluff, about 
three miles from Gallatin; Bledsoe's, near the sulphur spring about seven 
miles from Gallatin; Donelson's, on the Clover Bottom where the pike 
passes, and Fort Union, at the bend of the river above the Bluffs, where 
since has stood the town of Haysborough. " The fort at Nashborough 
stood upon the bluff between the southeast corner of the public square 
• and Spring Street. Like the other forts it was a two-story log building 
with port holes and lookout station. Other log houses were near it and 
palisades were thrown entirely around the whole, the upper ends of the 
palisades or pickets being sharpened. There was one large entrance to 
the enclosure. The view toward the west and southwest was obstructed 
l)y a thick forest of cedars and a dense undergrowth of privet bushes. 
The rich bottom lands were covered with cane measurinof from ten to 
twenty feet in height. The ancient forest trees upon the rich lands in 
this region were of a most majestic growth ; all the elements of nature 
seem to have combined to make them what they were, and yet, although 
many of the loveliest sites for country residences have been hastily and 
unwisely stripped of their chief ornament and charm, and civilized man 
has speedily destroyed, by thousands in a year, such monarchs of the 
forest as a thousand years may not again produce, there remain here 
and there some lovely spots and glorious oaks not wholly dishonored or 
abased by the woodman's ax. There are a few, and but a few, of such 
native woods and magnificent trees remaining in the vicinity of the capi- 
tal of Tennessee. "* 

As has been stated above the winter of 1779-80 was unusually 
severe, the Cumberland River being frozen over sufficiently solid to per- 
mit Robertson's party to cross upon the ice. The inclemepcy of the 
weather was such as to cause great inconvenience and suffering to the 
early settlers. It was impossible to keep warm in their cabins, necessar- 
ily loosely constructed, and the game upon which they depended in part 
for food was in an impoverished condition and poor. But while these 
evils resulted from this cause, there were also benefits enjoyed uncon- 
sciously to the settlers themselves. The Indians were themselves in as 
unsatisfactory condition, and as unprepared to make an attlick upon the 



cabins as the people in the cabins were to successfully defend them- 
selves against an attack; and during this interim of security from inva- 
sion by the savage tribes, which lasted until some time in May, 1780, the 
forts and other defenses were erected and strengthened, and numerous 
acquisitions were made to the numbers of the whites. Immigration had 
set in with a new impetus, the roads and traces to Kentucky and the 
Cumberland country being crowded with adventurers seeking independ- 
ence and fortune in the new Eldorado of the West, which was in verity 
beautiful, fertile and grand; and it is not at all surprising that its native 
proprietors should at length muster all their strength, their wildest ener- 
gies and fiercest passions, to dispossess the invaders and to repossess 
themselves of their own fair, delightful paradise. However, the attempt 
to accomplish this design soon convinced them that it could not be done 
by force of arms, the settlers being too strong, too resolute, and too well- 
defended ; the only recourse therefore had was, if possible, to deprive the 
whites of food by driving away and dispersing the deer, buffalo and 
other wild game, which was commenced in the spring of 1780, and con- 
tinued with such success for two or three years as to necessitate adven- 
tures by the stationers to far-off distances, and thus expose themselves to 
the dangers of ambush and attack by the lurking savage. This state of 
things rendered life at the Bluff and in the vicinity, anything but pleas- 
ant. Numbers wished they had never come, or that they had gone to 
other settlements where, being ignorant of the actual facts connected 
therewith, they imagined a greater degree of security and plenty reigned. 
But here, as in every community, there were a goodly number of brave- 
hearted men and women, who, having suffered in getting to their homes, 
put their trust in Providence and resolved to stay. 

One of the causes which led to the rapid settlement of Tennessee, 
was the passage, by the General Assembly of North Carolina, of an " act 
for the relief of the officers and soldiers in the Continental line, and for 
other purposes," which was as follows:* 

Whereas, The officers and soldiers of the Continental line of this State have suffered 
much by the depreciation of paper currency, as well as by the deficiency of clothing and 
other supplies that have been due them according to sundry acts and resolves of the Gen- 
eral Assembly, and whereas, the honorable, the Continental Congress, have resolved that 
the deficiency shall be made good to the 18th day of August, 1780, according to a scale of 

depreciation established. And 

***** ***** ****** 

Whereas, It is proper that some effectual and permanent reward should be rendered 
for the signal bravery and persevering zeal of the Continental officers and soldiers in the 
service of the State. Therefore 

Be it enacted, etc.. That each Continental soldier of the line of this State who is now 
in service, and continues to tlie end of the war, or such of them as from wounds or bodily 
♦Laws of 1782. Chapter III. 


infirmity have been or shall be rendered unfit for service, which shall be ascertained by a 
certificate from the commanding officer, shall have six hundred and forty acres of land; 
every officer who is now in service, and shall continue in service until the end of the war, 
as well as those officers who from wounds or bodily infirmity have left or may be obliged 
to leave the service, shall have a greater quantity according to his pay as followeth: Each 
non-commissioned officer, one thousand acres; each subaltern, two-thousand five hundred 
and sixty acres; each captain, three thousand eight hundred and forty acres; each major, four 
thousand eight hundred acres; each lieutenant-colonel, five thousand seven hundred and 
sixtj^ acres; each lieutenant-colonel commandant, seven thousand two hundred acres; each 
colonel, seven thousand two hundred acres; each brigadier-general, twelve thousand 
acres; each chaplain, six thousand two hundred acres; each surgeon, four thousand eight 
hundred acres; each surgeon's mate, two thousand five hundred and sixty acres; and where 
any officer or soldier has fallen or shall fall in the defense of his country, his heirs or assigns 
shall have the same quantity of land that the officer or soldier would have been entitled to 
had they served during the war. 

According to tlie next section of this act any family that had settled 
on the tract of land set apart to be divided np among the officers and 
soldiers should be entitled to 640 acres, provided that no such grant 
should include any salt lick or salt spring which were reserved with 640 
acres in connection with each lick or spring for public purposes. 

By the eighth section Absalom Tatom, Isaac Shelby and Anthony 
Bledsoe were appointed commissioners to lay off the land and they were 
to be accompanied by a giiard of not more than 100 men. 

By the tenth section Gen. Nathaniel Greene was allowed 25,000 
acres of land, which by an act passed in 1784 was described as follows: 
"Beginning on the south bank of Duck River, on a sycamore, cherry tree 
and ash, at the mouth of a small branch, running thence along a line of 
marked trees south seven miles and forty-eight poles, to a Spanish oak, 
a hickory and a sugar sapling; thence east six miles and ninety poles, to 
a Spanish oak and hackberry tree ; thence north three miles and 300 poles, 
to a sugar-tree sapling, and two white oak saplings into a clift of Duck 
River, where it comes from the northeast; thence down Duck River ac- 
cording to its meanderings to the beginning." 

The Revolutionary war came to an end in November, 1782. Capt. 
Robertson anticipated this event and from it inferred an abatement of 
Indian hostilities. It was soon followed by the arrival from North Caro- 
lina of quite a number of persons, who gave additional strength and en- 
couragement to the settlements. Early in 1783 the commissioners 
named above in the eighth section of the act for the relief of the officers 
and soldiers in the Continental line arrived from North Carolina accom- 
panied by a guard to lay off the lands promised as bounties to the officers 
and soldiers of said Continental line. These commissioners also came to 
examine into the claims of those persons who considered themselves en- 
titled to pre-emption rights granted to settlers on the Cumberland pre- 
vious to 1780, and also to lay off the lands given to Gen. Greene. The 


-settlers, animated with new hope by the presence of all these additions to 
their numbers and strength, entirely abandoned the designs they had 
long entertained of leaving the country. 

The commissioners and guards, with some of the inhabitants in com- 
pany, went to the place since called Latitude Hill, on Elk River, to 
ascertain the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude, and there made obser- 
vations. They then went north to Duck River to the second creek be- 
low Columbia and laid off Greene's 25,000 acres, and then fifty-five 
miles from the southern boundary of the State, and parallel thereto ran 
a line which received the name of the "Continental line," because it was 
the boundary of the territory allotted to the officers and soldiers of North 
Carolina in the Continental Army. But upon the representation, and at 
the request of the officers made to the General Assembly at the session 
of 1783, they directed it to be laid off from the northern boundary fifty- 
five miles to the south: Beginning on the Virginia line where the Cum- 
berland River intersects the same ; thence south fifty-five miles ; thence 
west to the Tennessee River ; thence down the Tennessee River to Vir- 
ginia line; thence with the said Virginia line east to the beginning.* 
This line was run by Gen. Rutherford, in 1784, and named the "Com- 
missioner's line." The Continental line passed the Harpeth River about 
five miles above the town of Franklin. The Commissioner's line in- 
cluded the land in the Great Bend of Tennessee — all lands on the east 
side of the Tennessee to the present Kentucky line. The method of 
running it "\yas as follows:. Commencing at the Kentucky line the com- 
missioners ran south fifty -five miles to Mount Pisgah, then forming them- 
selves into two parties, one party ran westward to the Tennesssee and the 
other eastward to the Caney Fork. 

Never were more generous bounties given to more deserving patriots. 
The war-Avorn veteran might here secure a competency, or perhaps even 
wealth or affluence to himself and children after the storm of battle had 
subsided, in the enjoyment of which he might pass the evening of life, 
serenely contemplating the great benefits derived and to be derived from 
the sacrifices himself and his compatriots had made in the establishment 
of the independence of the American nation. A vast emigration from 
North Carolina was the direct result of her generous action, insomuch 
that it was at one time estimated that nine-tenths of the population of 
Tennessee were from the mother State. And in addition to the bounties 
offered to the officers and soldiers of the Continental line, other bounties 
were offered to the guards of the commissioners who were appointed to 
lay off the reservation for the said officers and soldiers. These bounties 




were named "Guard Rights," and induced numerous individuals to be- 
come members of the guard, and numerous grants were located and set- 
tled upon by such individuals. After running the line as authorized by 
the General Assembly of North Carolina, the commissioners sat at the 
Bluff to examine into pre-emption claims and issued certificates to such 
as were entitled thereto. The commission then dissolved and Isaac 
Shelby removed to Kentucky, thus ceasing to be a citizen of Tennessee. 
Of Kentucky he became the first governor, and died suddenly July 18, 
1826, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. 

The commissioners having come and gone affairs again assumed their 
usual aspect at the Bluff. The people were employed in their ordinary 
labors, doing what could be done to improve their condition. Additions 
to their numbers continued to be made from North Carolina, and they 
were gratified to learn that even much larger numbers were added to the 
settlements in Kentucky. Goods began to be brought in by boats from 
the Ohio and its tributaries, but according to Putnam the first store at 
the Falls of the Ohio was supplied from Philadelphia, and the supplies 
carried on pack-horses. The second store was kept at Lexington by Col. 
(afterward Gen.) James Wilkinson, from which small supplies werepiir- 
chased for the settlers on the Cumberland. Several years after this a 
small store was opened at the Bluff. Lardner Clark was the first mer- 
chant and ordinary-keeper, dealing in dry goods, thimbles and pins for 
ladies; dinners and liquors for men, and provender for horses. As one 
of the improvements made in that early day in the way of labor-saving 
machinery, it may not be inappropriate to introduce here a description of 
a hominy-mill invented and constructed by a Mr. Cartwright. It con- 
sisted mainly of a wheel, upon the rim of which he fastened a number of 
x.'ows' horns, in such position that as each horn was filled with water its 
weight would cause it to descend and thus set the wheel in revolution. 
To the axle of this wheel was attached a crank, and to the crank the 
apparatus for cracking the corn. Thus many a little blow was made by 
the little pestle upon the quart of corn in the mortar. This mill was 
owned by Heyden and James Wells. 

As to the general condition of affairs on the Cumberland the follow- 
ing description from Bamsey is probably as graphic and correct as can be 
composed: "As on the Watauga at its first settlement, so now here the 
colonists of Robertson were without any regularly organized government. 
The country was within the boundaries of Washington County, which 
extended t J the Mississippi, perhaps the largest extent of territory ever 
embraced in a single county. But even here in the wilds of the Cum- 
berland, removed more than 600 miles from their seat of government, the 


people demonstrated again their adequacy to self-government. Soon 
after their arrival at the BlufP, the settlers appointed trustees, and signed 
a covenant obliging themselves to conform to the judgments and decisions 
of their officers, in whom they had invested the powers of government.* 
Those who signed the covenant had considerable advantages over those 
who did not; they were respectively allowed a tract of land, the quiet 
possession of which was guaranteed by the colony. Those who did not 
sign the covenant were considered as having no right to their lands, and 
could be dispossessed by a signer without any recourse. To the trustees 
were allowed in these days of primitive honesty and old-fashioned public 
spirit neither salaries nor fees. But to the clerk appointed by the trus- 
tees were given small perquisites as compensation for the expense of 
paper and stationery. The trustees Avere the executive of the colony, 
and had the Avhole government in their own hands ; acting as the judi- 
ciary their decisions gave general satisfaction. To them Avere also com- 
mitted the functions of the sacerdotal office in the celebration of the rites 
of matrimony. The founder of the colony, Capt. James Robertson, as 
might have been expected, was one of the trustees and was the first who 
married a couple. These were Capt, Leiper and his wife. Mr. James 
Shaw was also a trustee, and married Edward Swanson to Mrs. Carvin, 
James Freeland to Mrs. Maxwell, Cornelius Riddle to Miss Jane Mul- 
herrin and John Tucker to Jenny Herrod, all in one day. The first child 
born in the country was John Saunders, since the sherifp of Montgomery 
County, and afterward killed on White River, Indiana, by the Indians. 
The second was Anna Wells. * * * * * 

"Under the patriarchal form of government, by trustees selected on 
account of their experience, probity and firmness, the colony was planted, 
defended, gOA'erned and provided for several years, and the administration 
of justice and the protection of rights, though simple and a little irrt)g- 
ular, it is believed was as perfect and satisfactory as at any subsequent 
period in its history." 

Approach to the Cumberland settlements previous to 1785 was gen- 
erally through the wilderness of Kentucky, but at the November session 
of the General Assembly of North Carolina for this year, it enacted a law 
providing for a force of 300 men to protect these settlements, and it was 
made the duty of these soldiers or guards, to cut and clear a road from 
the lower end of Clinch Mountain to Nashville by the most eligible 
route. This road was to be at least ten feet wide and fit for the passage 
of wagons and carts. For the half of his first year's pay each private 
was allowed 400 acres of land, and for further services in the same pro- 

* See chapter on Organization. 


portion. The officers were to be paid in a similar manner. The road 
was opened during the year, after which the route was more direct, and 
immense numbers of the more wealthy people of the Atlatitic sections 
sought the Cumberland overi it. But as the guards were overburdened in 
protecting the settlements from Indian incursions and attacks; the road 
cut by them was not sufficient for the purpose of the vast immigration 
now pouring into the country. A wider and more level road was de- 
manded, hence the road. already cut was Avidened and another road was 
cut leading into it from Bledsoe's Lick. The field officers of the coun- 
ties were authorized and directed, Avhen informed that a number of fam- 
ilies were at Cumberland Mountain w;aiting for an escort to conduct them' 
to the Cumberland settlements, to raise militia guards, to consist of not more 
than fifty men to act as such escort. The expenses of these guards were to be 
defrayed by a poll tax which the county courts were authorized to levy. 
By the improvement in the roads and the protection provided for emi- 
grants, great accessions were constantly made to tlie Cumberland settle- 
ments for the next succeeding years. Large numbers of families would 
concentrate on the banks of the Clinch, and attended by the guard would 
pass through the wilderness with little apprehension of trouble from the 
Indians on the way, and the settlements thus constantly strengthened 
soon secured a foretaste of that final triumph over discouragements and 
disasters by which they had so long been enfeebled and depressed. They 
became better prepared to repel savage aggressions, and at length able 
themselves to carry on an offensive warfare against the Indians. In fact 
the population of Davidson County increased so rapidly that for the con- 
venience of the inhabitants living remote from Nashville, the seat of 
justice, it became necessary to divide the county and form a new one 
named Tennessee. 

The records of Davidson County for the October term of 1787 con- 
tain a resolution that for the better furnishing of the troops now coming 
into the country under Maj. Evans with provisions, etc., one-fourth of 
the tax of the county should be paid in (iorn, two-fourths in beef, pork, 
bear meat and venison, one-eighth in salt, and one-eighth in money to 
defray the expense of moving the provisions from the place of collection 
to the troops. It was also provided that the price of corn should be 4: 
shillings per bushel, beef $5 per hundred weight, pork $S, good bear meat 
(without bones) 38, venison lOshillings per hundred weight, and salt ^IGper 
bushel. With reference to the currency the court, at its next April term, 
appointed Robert Hays, Anthony Hart and John Hunter a committee of 
inspection, with authority to destroy such of the bills as they believed to 
be counterfeit. This action was taken subsequent to the refusal of Jesse 


Oain to receive the cnrrency of the State, for which he was indicted by 
the grand jury April 7, 1787, but not punished. It will be noticed that 
the currency of the Cumberland was something to eat, while that of 
Franklin was something to wear. 

• In the State Gazette of North Carolina, under date of November 28, 
1788, Col. Eobertson published the following notice: "The new road 
from Campbell's Station to Nashville was opened on the 25tli of Septem- 
ber, and the guard attended at that time to esc(^rt such persons as were 
ready to proceed to Nashville ; that about sixty families had gone on, 
among whom were the widow and family of the late Gen. Davidson, and 
John McNairy, judge of the Superior Court; and that on the 1st day of 
October next, the guard would attend at the same place for the same 

Not long after this the General Assembly of North Carolina estab- 
lished a provision store on the frontier of Hawkins County at the house 
of John Adair, for the reception of beef, pork, flour and corn for the use 
of the Cumberland Guard when called on to conduct these emigrant 
parties through the wilderness, and John Adair was appointed a commis- 
sioner for the purchase of these provisions. In payment for them he was 
authorized to issue certificates receivable by the sheriff in the District of 
Washington in part payment of the public taxes in the counties of that 
district, from whom they Avere to be received by the treasurer of the 
State. It was also provided that when any person, wounded in the for- 
mation and defense of the Cumberland settlements, was unable to pay the 
expense of his treatment, the county courts should pass the accounts, and 
that accounts so passed should be received in payment of public taxes. 
The courts were also authorized to sell the several salt licks, heretofore 
reserved, at which salt could be manufactured, and to declare the others 
vacant and subject to entry as other public lands. Two of the licks of 
the first description were to be retained for the use of Davidson Academy. 
The year 1788 was distinguished by the deplorable adventure of Col. 
James Brown, a Revolutionary officer in the North Carolina line. He 
was immigrating to the Cumberland to take possession of the lands al- 
lotted to him for his military services during the Revolution. His family 
consisted of himself, wife, five sons, four daughters and several negroes. 
Two of his sons were young men. Besides his immediate family. Col. 
Brown's party consisted of J. Bays, John Flood, John and William Gen- 
try, and John Griffin. Being unwilling to expose his family to the dan- 
gers of an overland journey to the Cumberland, Col. Brown determined 
to go by water, following the famous example of Col. John Donelson, of 
eight years before. His boat Avas built on Holston, a short distance be- 


low Long Island. It was fortified by placing two-incli oak plank all 
around above the gunwales. These were pierced with port-holes at proper 
distances, and a swivel-gun was placed in the stern o£ the boat. By tak- 
ing these precautions he hoped to make the journey for his party safe, 
easy and pleasant. They embarked on the Jrth of May, and on the 9th the 
party passed the Chickamauga towns about daybreak, and the Tuske- 
gee Island town a little after sunrise. At this place the head man, Cut- 
tey Otoy, and three otliej.- warriors, came on board and were kindly treated. 
Returning to the shore, they sent runners to Running Water Town and 
Nickajack to raise all the warriors they could to ascend the river and 
meet the boat. Not long after they had left the boat. Col. Brown's party 
saw a number of canoes ascending the river, evidently prepared to do 
mischief, if that were their intention. One of their number, John Vann, 
was a half-breed, and could speak English plainly. By pretending to be 
friendly, the Indians in the canoes came alongside Col. Brown's boat, 
boarded it, forced it to the shore, killed Col. Brown, and took all of the 
others prisoners. All of the men of the party were killed. Mrs. Brown 
and ofte daughter were retained prisoners for seventeen months; two of 
the daughters and one son were released about eleven months after their 
capture, and one little son was kept five years among the Creeks, at the 
end of which time he had forgotten the few English words he had learned 
at the time of his capture. The son of Col. Brown, released at the end of 
eleven months, was subsequently Col. Joseph Brown, of Maury County, 
Tenn. After his release, himself and other members of the family made 
a successful overland journey to the Cumberland, and settled about three 
miles below Nashville. Mrs. Brown was released through the aid of 
Col. McGilvery, the head man of the Creek nation, as was also one of 
her daughters. Few families suffered more from Indian atrocities than 
the Browns; Col. Brown, two sons, and three sons-in-law, were killed, 
another was shot in the right hand and cut about the wrist; another son, 
Joseph, and two daughters, were prisoners nearly a year; Mrs. Brown 
and another daughter were prisoners seventeen months, the former being 
driven on foot by the Creeks 200 miles, her feet blistered and suppu- 
rating, not being allowed time to take the gravel from her shoes ; and a 
younger son was a prisoner five years. Gen. Sevier was at this time act- 
ively engaged in suppressing Indian hostilities, and it is to him credit is 
due for the exchange of prisoners effected. A full account of his opera- 
tions will be found in the chapter on Indian history. 

Not long after the fall of the Franklin government in the spring of 
1788, it became evident that North Carolina, although opposed to the 
existence of that anomaly, was at the same time exceedingly economical 


in the adoptiou of measures and in providing means for the welfare and 
protection of her western counties. This disposition on the part of the 
parent State soon revived the discontents and complaints of the western 
people, especially of those who had been in the Franklin revolt, and it 
so(in became the general opinion on both sides of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains that a separation was not only the best policy for each but was also 
for the interest of both. The General Assembly acting upon this princi- 
2jle passed an act for the purpose of ceding to the United States certain 
western lands therein described, and in conformity with one of the pro- 
visions of this act, North Carolina's United States Senators, Samuel 
Johnston and Benjamin Hawkins, on the 25th of February, 1790, exe- 
cuted a deed of the territory ceded to the United States. On the 2d of 
the following April, the United States Congress accepted the deed and 
what is now Tennessee ceased to be a part of North Carolina. 

One of the few last legislative enactments of North Carolina respect- 
ing her western territory was one establishing Rogersville in Hawkins 
County, in 1789. This was the last town established by North Carolina 
in Tennessee. 

Having thus traced some of the principal events in settlements of the 
territory now comprising the State of Tennessee, it is proper to pause 
and consider the condition of things at the time the final cession was 
made to, and accepted by, the Congress of the United States. The settle- 
ments were comprised in two bodies or communities. That, in East Ten- 
nessee extended from the Virginia line on the east, southwest to the wa- 
ters of Little Tennessee, in the shape of a peninsula. Its length was 
about 150 miles, and its' width from twenty-five to fifty. This narrow 
strip of inhabited country was bounded on the south by a constant suc- 
cession of mountains claimed and in pR.vt occupied by the Indians, on the 
west by territory occupied by them, and on the north and northwest by 
the Clinch and Cumberland Mountains. And the settlements within 
these limits were confined mainly to the valleys of the Holston, Nolli- 
chucky and the French Broad and Little Rivers below the mountains. 
All the rest of East Tennessee vv^as occupied by Cherokee villages or their 
hunting grounds. In this portion of the State, comprising what was then 
"Washington District, there were about 30,000 inhabitants. 

The other community was settled along the Cumberland Biver, and 
was almost entirely insulated from the community in East Tennessee. 
They were included in Mero District, and numbered about 7,000 inhabi- 
tants. The counties were Davidson, Tennessee and Sumner. Between 
these two sections thus distant from each other there was no direct and 
easy communication. By water the great obstacles were the raj^ids and 


Muscle Shoals of the Tennessee River, and the ascent of the Ohio and 
Cumberland, and between the two a mountain chain and a wilderness 
intervened which could not well be traversed without a military guard. 

West of the Tennessee Eiver lay the territory claimed but unoccupied 
by the Chickasaws. Much of it was covered by grants from North Caro- 
lina but as yet none of it had been settled by white people. It furnished 
a thoroughfare through which intercommunication was continued for a 
considerable period between northern and southern tribes of Indians, and 
foreign emissaries who sought to involve the settlements in difficulties 
with the tribes. Spaniards were also residing in the towns of the Creeks 
and Choctaws, who themselves had no valid claim to the lands. Such 
was the state of affairs when the cession was made, and when the terri- 
tory of the United States south of the Ohio Eiver was organized, and 
when that accomplished gentleman, William Blount, of North Carolina, 
was appointed its governor by the President of the United States, 
George Washington. 

An important transaction took place about thi&time with which sev- 
eral prominent citizens of Tennessee were connected either directly or 
indirectly. It was between the Legislature of the State of Georgia and 
the Tennessee Land Company. It would probably be very difficult to 
ascertain the names of all the members of this company, even if it were 
desirable so to do. The leading spirit, however, in the enterprise, was 
Zacbariah Cox. Others who were either members of the company or in- 
terested in its operations were Matthias Maher, William Cox, James 
Hubbard, Peter Bryant, John Ruddle, Thomas Gilbert, John Strother, a 
Mr. Williams and a Mr. Gardiner, Gen. Sevier and Col. Donelson. 
The territory of Georgia then like that of North Carolina, extended 
westward to the Mississippi River, and the Legislature of that State con- 
sidering itself authorized by the constitution so to do, and thinking it 
would be to the interest of their State, sold large quantities of land in its 
western territory to different companies, among these being the Tennes- 
see Land Company. The tract of land thus purchased by this company 
lay upon the Great Bend of the Tennessee River and was bounded as 
follows: "Beginning at the mouth of Bear Creek, on the south bank of 
the Tennessee River ; thence up the said creek to the most southern source 
thereof; thence due south to latitude thirty-four degrees and ten minutes; 
thence a due east course 120 miles; thence a due north course to the 
great Tennessee River ; thence up the middle of said river to the north- 
ern boundary line of this State; thence a due west course along the said 
line to where it intersects the great Tennessee River below the Muscle 
Shoals; thence up the said river to the place of beginning." Within 


these limits were contained 3,500,000 acres of land, and the stipulated 
price was |46,875, The act of the Legislature making this grant was 
passed December 21, 1789; $12,000 was to be paid down, and 212,000 
acres were to be reserved to the citizens of Georgia. Of this land Gen. 
Sevier had "ten or twenty thousand acres at the mouth of Blue Water 
Creek, which empties into the Tennessee near the head of Muscle Shoals, 
the right to which he afterward relinquished to the United States for 
the privilege of entering 5,000 acres of other unappropriated public 

In view of the course taken by the United States toward those who 
attempted to settle upon this purchase, this statement is somewhat con- 
fusing. Zacliariah Cox and Thomas Carr, as agents of the company, soon 
took measures to ejffect this settlement. From their territory they issued 
a notice September 2, 1790, that they would embark a large armed force 
at the mouth of French Broad. But little attention was paid to them by 
Gov. Blount, as it was supposed they were unable to start the expedition. 
But about January 10, 1791, Cox and about twenty-five or thirty others 
arrived at the place of embarkation, and began to make preparations in 
earnest to go down the river. The President of the United States, hear- 
ing of the purchase and intended occupation of these lands, issued a 
proclamation forbidding the settlement, and declaring those who made 
such settlement would be entirely outside the protection of the United 
States. Upon the receipt of a letter from the Secretary of War, dated 
January 13, 1791, Gov. Blount dispatched Maj. White, of Hawkins 
County, to make known to the company the tenor of the proclamation, 
and to inform them that if they went to the Muscle Shoals the Indians 
would be immediately notified of it and be at liberty to act toward them 
as they might think proper, without offense to the United States ; and to 
inform them also that if the Indians would permit them to settle, the 
United States would not. 

This communication for a time intimidated the company, but upon 
considering that in February a force of about 300 men from Kentucky in- 
tended to make a settlement near the Yazoo, upon land bought by the Vir- 
ginia Yazoo Company, at the same time the Tennessee Company purchased 
their land, they determined to disregard the Federal prohibition and pro- 
ceed with their enterprise. Zacliariah Cox, Col. Hubbard, Peter Bryant 
and about fifteen others embarked at the mouth of the Dumplin in a small 
boat and two canoes for the purpose of taking possession of the Tennes- 
see grant. With such a small party the enterprise of sailing down the 
river was hazardous in the extreme. Eemembering the sad fate of Col. 

* Putnam. ' 


Brown three years before, they proceeded down the river with the utmost 
caution. "• Below the Suck a small party of Indians came out in their 
canoes and hailed them. The ^ame number of white men were sent out 
to meet them, advancing firmly with their rifles in their hands, but with 
orders not to fire till the last extremity. Their canoe floated down toward 
the Indians, who, observing their preparation for attack, withdrew and 
disappeared. A little further down night overtook the voyagers, and, 
when, from the dangers of navigation at night, it Avas proposed to steer to 
the shore, they saw upon the bank a row of fires, extending along the 
bottoms as far as they could see, and standing around them armed Indian 
warriors. They silenced their oars by pouring water upon the oar-pins, 
spoke not a word, but glided by as quietly as possible. * * * Sev- 
eral times next day the Indians tried by various artifices to decoy them 
to land. On one occasion three of them insisted, in English, to come and 
trade with them. After they had refused and passed by, 300 warriors 
rose out of ambush. * * * For three days and nights they did not 
land, but doubled on their oars, beating to the south side at night and to 
the middle of the river by day.* 

Arriving at the Muscle Shoals Cox and his party built a block-house 
and other works of defense on an island. The Glass with about sixty 
Indians shortly afterward appeared, and informed the intruders that if 
they did not peacefully withdraw he would put them to death. Upon 
considering their defenseless condition as against a much superior force, 
they abandoned their works, which the Indians immediately rediiced to 
ashes. Returning to Knoxville Cox and his associates were arrested 
upon a warrant by Judge Campbell to answer for their offense, but the 
indictments, two of which were sent to the grand jury, were not sustained 
as true bills. Thus Cox and his twenty young men from Georgia seemed 
to triumph over the Government, and Avere thereby encouraged to perse- 
vere in their attempt to settle at the Muscle Shoals. They soon found 
purchasers for many thousands of acres of land and made public declar- 
ation of their intention to make another attempt at settlement, and that 
they would do so with a great force drawn from Maryland, Virginia, 
North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The time fixed upon for 
this grand movement was November, 1791, or as soon thereafter as their 
numbers could be collected. This movement, however, appears to have 
failed, and the failure was probably on account of the company's failure 
to comply with the terms of their purchase of the lands from Georgia. 

For two or three years the matter remained in abeyance, but in 1794: 
the Legislature of Georgia passed another bill for the sale of the lands 



whicli was vetoed by the Governor in December of that year. In Janu- 
ary, 1795, a bill was passed which received the Governor's signature and 
became a law. Under this law an aggregate of 35,000,000 acres of 
land was sold to four companies, very nearly in proportion to the amounts 
paid by each company. The Georgia Company paid $250,000, the 
Georgia-Mississippi Company paid $155,000, the Upper Mississippi 
Company paid $35,000 and the Tennessee Land Company paid $00,000, 
the latter company receiving the same amount as under the first purchase 
in 1789. In August, 1795, a report was circulated' that Cox and his 
associates Intended making another attempt at the establishment of a 
settlement on the lands purchased from Georgia, and Gov. Blount recom- 
mended a regular military force to prevent them. In January, 1796, 
some individuals arrived from Georgia for the purpose of making a pas- 
sage to the Muscle Shoals with the view of keeping possession there until 
a settlement could be established by the Tennessee Company. They 
gave out, however, that they were going to Natchez, and it was some 
time before the Governor could learn their true designs. On the 18th of 
February, 1796, he wrote a letter to the chiefs of Cherokees, informing 
them that about four weeks before that time a boat with many men had 
left Knoxville, ostensibly for Natchez, but really for the Muscle Shoals 
with the view of settling on the Great Bend of the Tennessee, and gave 
assurance to the chiefs that if such were the fact the United States would 
remove the intruders and that they, the Cherokees, need not be uneasy. 

But the settlement under all of these purchases was effectually pre- 
vented by the action of the State of Georgia with reference to the sale 
of the lands, which is in itself a curious and interesting study. The 
entire populace of that State became intensely excited and most highly 
inflamed against the Legislature for selling the lands, and in 1796 the 
act by which the sale was made was repealed by a new Legislature 
elected for the purpose, by an overwhelming vote, on the ground of 
unconstitutionality and fraud, and the enrolled bill, passed January 7, 
1795, was publicly and solemnly burned February 13, 1796, together 
with such portions of the records as could be destroyed without destroy- 
ing other and valuable portions. And it is matter of tradition that the 
fire was kindled by means of a sun glass, upon the theory that the infamy 
sought to be cast upon the fair fame of the State could only appropriately 
be obliterated by fire brought down from heaven. 

The following table shows the various land grants or appropriations 
by the State of North Carolina, within her western territory, now the 
State of Tennessee: 


Acres. Acres. 

Granted to claimants in the counties of Washington, 

Sullivan, Greene and Hawkins 879,263 

Granted to claimants in the Eastern, Middle and Wes- 
tern districts 1,371,280 


Granted to the settlers on the Cumberland pre-emp- 
tion 309,760 

Granted to Maj.-Gen. Nathaniel Greene ' 25,000 

Granted to the officers and soldiers in the Continen 

talline 1,239,498 

Granted to ditto for which warrants had been 
granted, but for which grants had not been 
issued 1,594,726 


Granted to the surveyor of the militarj' lands for 

his services 30,803 

Granted to the commissioners, surveyors, officers and 
guards, for ascertaining the bounds of the mil- 
itary lands 65,932 

Total number of acres 5,415,661 

The above statement was certified by J. Glasgow, secretary of state 
for North Carolina, July 30, 1791, and by Alexander Martin, governor, 
August 10, of the same year. 

Seftlemenf of West Tennessee. — That portion of Tennessee lying 
west of the Tennessee River was not settled — was not opened for settle- 
ment — until long after Tennessee became a flourishing and wealthy State. 
The lands in this section were owned and occupied by the Chickasaw 
tribe of Indians as far back as there is any authentic record. Their firm 
friendship for the whites, particularly the English, was something rather 
remarkable. They were first met by De Soto in his tour of conquest in 
1540, a little above the southern boundary of the State, by whom he was 
treated with remarkable courtesy until he demanded of them 200 of their 
number to carry his baggage. He had spent the winter at their village, 
Chisca, and received many courtesies from them, but on this demand they 
burned their village and flew to arms. They preferred desolated homes 
and death to anything like slavery. Whether De Soto and his band 
marched within the boundaries of this State is questioned. The next 
white man, possibly the first, was the Jesuit missionary, Marquette, who 
visited the borders of the State in 1673, but his voyage down the river 
was one of exploration and discovery rather than settlement. He found 
the dusky men of the forest armed with the weapons of civilized warfare, 
which they had doubtless obtained from traders along the Atlantic coast. 
In 1736 an attempt was made by Bienville from the south, in concert 


with D'Artaguette and Vinsenne from the north, to dispossess the Chick- 
asaws of their lands. The attempt was a disastrous failure, the two forces 
not acting simultaneously; the former was compelled to beat a hasty re- 
treat, and the latter two were captured and burned at the stake. In 1739 
the French again attempted to possess themselves of the territory of the 
Chickasaws; this time they made an attack upon the Indians at Chicka- 
saw Bluffs (at Memphis), but were defeated with loss. The attempt 
was renewed at the same place in 1710 by Bienville and De Noailles, who 
ascended the river in boats. They met with little success but managed 
to patch up a hollow treaty. A fort was built by them at Chickasaw* 
Bluff, called Prud'homme, but the date is unknown. Desultory fighting 
was kept up between them for the possession of this territory for ten 
years longer. In nearly all the wars of the United States and while the 
colonies were under control of the English Government, these Indians 
sided with and assisted the English. In consequence of which they 
received very liberal boundaries at the treaty of Hopewell, after the Rev- 
olutionary war. Besides lands the Government courted their friendship 
by large donations of corn and other supplies. 

In 1782 (December 11) Gen. Robertson established Ghickasaw Bluffs 
as a depot to which was sent the supplies given to the Indians. The 
Bluffs thus became a kind of permanent post at which the English and 
Chickasaws met, from time to time, till the treaty of 1818, when the 
entire Western portion of the State was transferred to the United States. 

The Spanish seemed anxious to obtain this territory whether by fair 
means or foul. The Spanish governor of Natchez, Gayoso by name, 
appeared at the Chickasaw Bluffs some time between the last of May and 
the 9th of July, with the intention of building a fort there. He took 
possession of the bluff on the east side of the river within the territorial 
limits of the United States. He came up the river with three galleys 
which anchored on the side opposite the bluffs, until the materials on the 
west side were prepared for the erection of a block-house. When the 
material was ready it was quickly transferred across to the east side, and 
the block-house hastily erected. Complaint was made to Gov. Blount by 
the Chickasaws that their territorial rights had been invaded. Novem- 
ber 9, 1795, Gov. Blount, by direction of the President, sent a letter to 
Gayoso, by Col. McKee, at Fort St. Ferdinando, near the Chickasaw Bluff. 
This letter stated that the United States considered the establishment of 
a Spanish fort at or near Chickasaw Bluff an encroachment not only upon 
the territorial rights of the United States but also upon the rights of the 
Chickasaw nation, and that the Government of the United States expected 



liim to demolish the fort, block-house or whatever military works he may 
have erected, and to withdraw his troops from its limits. The Spanish 
officers at this time from Fort St. Ferdinando and New Madrid below and 
to the mouth of the Ohio above allowed no boats to pass without reporting 
their destination and cargo. This was done to prevent supplies being 
sent to the Chickasaws. Col. McKee who had been sent to Gayoso did 
not return till in the spring of 1796, when it was learned that the Gen- 
eral Government had made a treaty with Spain that ended all grounds 
for controversy. 

Various treaties were made with the Chickasaws with a view to obtain 
their territory in the State for settlement. Among these treaties were 
those of 1806-07 by which they relinquished 355,000 acres for settlement 
for $22,000, and a large amount again in 1816, for which they received 
$4,500 cash and $12,000 in ten annual installments. The final treaty by 
which they relinquished all West Tennessee was signed October 19, 
IS 18, by Isaac Shelby and Andrew Jackson on the part of President 
James Monroe, and by the chiefs on the part of the Chicasaws. The 
substance of this treaty is here given. It was to settle all territorial 
controversies and remove all grounds of complaint or dissatisfaction 
which might arise to interrupt the peace and harmony so long and so 
happily existing between the United States and the Chickasaw nation of 
Indians. It ceded all lands lying north of the southern boundary of the 
State (except a small tract reserved for a special purpose) described as 
follows: "•Beginning on the Tennessee River about thirty-five miles by 
water below Col. George Colbert's ferry, where the thirty-fifth degree of 
north latitude strikes the same; thence due west with said parallel to 
where it cuts the Mississippi River at or near the Chicasaw Bluffs; 
thence up said river to the mouth of the Ohio; thence up the Ohio to 
the mouth of the Tennessee; thence up the Tennessee to the place of 

The consideration of this treaty was that the Chickasaws were to 
receive $20,000 annually for fifteen years to be paid to the chiefs of the 
nation; also a private claim of Capt. John Gordon, $1,115 due him by 
Gen. William Colbert of. the nation; to Capt. David Smith $2,000, for 
supplies furnished to himself and forty-five soldiers in assisting the 
Chickasaws in a war with the Creeks; to Oppassantubbee, principal 
chief, $500 for a tract of land two miles square, reserved for him in the 
treaty of September 20, 1816; to John Lewis $25, for a saddle lost in 
the service; to John Colbert $1,089, stolen from him at a theater in 
Baltimore; also reservations to Col. George Colbert, May Levi Colbert 

*Land Laws. 


and John McClisli, who had married a white woman. It was further 
ordered that the boundary line on the south should be marked in bold 
characters by commissioners agreeable to both the President and the 
Chickasaws. It was further agreed, in consideration of the faithfulness 
of the Chickasaws, but particularly as a " manifestation of the friendship 
and liberality of the President " of the United States, that the commis- 
sioners pay certain sums annually to the leading chiefs of the tribe. 

To the time of the above treaty little effort at settlement had been 
made in West Tennessee. The friendly feeling so long existing between 
the whites and the Chickasaws, and the determination of the Government 
to maintain that friendship by preventing any encroachment upon their 
territory, prevented a long series of murders and Indian massacres so 
common to the settlement of a new country. From this time the settle- 
ment became rapid and soon grew to vast proportions, owing to the invit- 
ing lands and large population in sections so near. Before any settle- 
ments had been made there were roads or traces leading through the 
territory on which occasionally there was a squatter. One of these roads 
or traces, known as the "Massac trace," entered West Tennessee nearly 
south of Somerville and passed a little west of north through Haywood 
County and in the same direction to Fort Massac, in Illinois. Another 
was a United States road that entered West Tennessee west from 
Waverly, and passed througli the territory in a southwesterly direction. 
Along the southern boundary of the State was another road or pathway. 
On the upper courses of the main stream of the Big Hatchie were two or 
three rough bridges. These roads were opened about the beginning of 
the present century. Among the squatters who lived on these roads was 
John Chambers who dwelt on the road leading south to Natchez. He 
raised cattle and corn; the latter he sold at a very high price. The first 
settlers in the northwest part of the State were Stephen Mitchell, eight 
miles below New Madrid, at Mitchell's Landing on the Mississippi ; Enoch 
Walker, at Walker's Landing, on Reelf oot Lake ; Evan Shelby, at Shelby's 
Landing, also on Reelfoot Lake, and the Bone family, three miles below 
Shelby's. All these were between 1818 and 1820 and were in Lake 

Others in the same county and about the same time were Robert and 
Jefferson Nolen, John and E,. J. Elvers, Beuben and Richard Anderson, 
Michael Peacock, William Box, Henry Walker, Joe Bone, Robert C. 
Nail, Ezekiel Williams, Thomas Wynn, Robert Thompson, Richard J. 
Hill, James Crockett, John Campbell, E. W. Nevill, Jesse Gray, Richard 
Sand, J. W. Bradford, C. H. Bird and B. B. Bird. The first settlers en- 
tered Obion County about 1821 ; among them were John Cloy, Valentine 


Westerbrook, Thornton Edwards, James Hollowmau, Benjamin Totten, 
Benjamin and David Hubbard, James Collins, John Tarr, James Bedford, 
John Clark, O. Koberts, Fletcher Edwards, John White, Benjamin Far- 
ris, William Scott, Col. Lysander Adams, Gen. George Gibbs, Hardin 
Talley, Robert Corwin, John Parkey, William Caldwell, Alfred McDan- 
iel and Benjamin Evans. The celebrated Davy Crockett assisted in lay- 
ing off the town of Troy in 1825, and later, when on a tour, canvassing 
for Congress, he was without money, and Col. William M. Wilson came 
to his relief and paid his hotel bill. A nice family Bible was sent to Col. 
Wilson from Washington by Crockett, as a reward for his kindness. It 
is needless to say that this is kept as a highly prized heirloom by the 
Wilson family. The first white child born in the county was Thomas D. 
Wilson, son of Col. William M. Wilson. The first settlement in Weak- 
ley County was made in 1819. Those settling in the vicinity of Dresden 
were John Terrill, Perry Vincent, Dr. Jubilee Rogers, Benjamin Bondu- 
rant, Richard Porter, T. and A. Gardner and Robert Powell. A few 
years later than these were Vincent Rust, Claiborne Stone, Thomas Par- 
ham and John H. Reams. Vincent Rust raised the first hogshead of 
tobacco in Weakley County in 1835. This was hauled by Dr. Reams to 
Hickman, Ky., and sold at 5 cents per pound. Those settling northeast 
of Dresden were Levi Mizell, Joe Wilson, John Webb, and those a little 
later were the families of Ridgeway, Buckley, Killebrew and Kilgore. 
Those on the northeast between the middle fork of Obion and the Ken- 
tucky line were John F. Cavitt, who settled there March 20, 1820, also 
John Stevenson, Isaac and William Killingham, who had preceded Stev- 
enson a short time and had erected a hut; John Rogers moved into' the 
cabin with Cavitt above mentioned until he could erect a cabin for him- 
self. These were soon followed by J. B. Davis, Peter Williams, Marcus 
Austin, L. F. Abernathy and Benjamin Farmer. The latter was elected 
constable and was given an execution levying on a cow and calf, to serve 
on a settler. In his simplicity he ran down the cow and rubbed the 
execution against her, but was unable to catch the calf; he shook the in- 
strument at it and exclaimed: "you too, calfy." Alexander Paschall was 
one of the first settlers in the northeast part of the county; he came there 
in 1824- from Carroll County, N. C. As evidence of the sparsely settled 
country, Paschall, in building his house, invited all persons living within 
a circuit of twelve miles, and got only thirty-one hands. Other settlers 
about the same time were Daniel Laswell, Sr.. John and George Harlin 
and Peter Mooney. 

It is said the first preaching in that vicinity was by a colored minis- 
ter. Everybody was anxious to go to church, but few of the women had 


a change of dresses. Mrs. Paschall having seven, loaned six to her less 
fortunate sisters and thus enabled them to attend the first preaching in 
that vicinity. On Mud Creek were settled Reuben Edmunson, Dudley- 
Glass, Sr., Levi Clark and Israel »Tones. Between Mud Creek and Mid- 
dle Fork were Owen Parrish, Thomas Etheridge, father of Hon. Emerson 
Etheridge, A. Clemens, J. W. Rogers and John Jenkins. Between 
Middle and South Fork were Duke Cantrell, M. H. G. Williams, William 
Hills, Alfred Bethel, F. A. Kemp and Calloway Hardin. Higher up the 
river were Robert Mosely, E. D. Dickson, James Hornback, John and 
G. BradshaAv and Richard Drewery, Southeast on Upper Spring Creek 
were Thomas Osborne, A. Demming, Isaac Crew, Robert Gilbert, Jona- 
than Gilbert, James and Alfred Smith, William Hamilton, Francis Lid- 
die, John O'Neal, James Kennedy and Tilghman Johnson. On Thomp- 
son's Creek were John Thomas, Daniel Campbell, Samuel Morgan, Elijah 
Stanley, M. Shaw, William Gay, John H. Moore and Hayden E. Wells. 
On Lower Cypress were Capt. John Rogers, E. P. Latham, the Carneys, 
McLeans, Scultzs and Stewarts. On Upper Cypress were the Rosses, 
Thompsons, AYinsteads and Beadles. Davy Crockett settled near the 
junction of South and Rutherford Forks of Obion, in Weakley County, and 
was elected to the Legislature the same year on a majority of 247 votes. 
He was beaten for Congress in 1825 and 1827 by Hon. A. R. Alexander 
on a majority of only two votes each time. He was elected in 1829 by 
'3,585 votes. He was beaten by William Fitzgerald in 1831, and he in 
turn beat Fitzgerald in 1833 by a good majority. Crockett was himself 
beaten in 1835 by Adam Huntzman, a wooden-legged lawyer. Crockett 
was in Congress the author of the "occupant's bill," a measure to give 
each settler 200 acres of land. Henry Stunson, who was born in 1821, 
was the first white child born in Weakley County. The first cabin built 
by a white man was erected in 1819 by John Bradshaw. 

The settlement in the northeastern part of the western section of the 
State began in 1819; the first settlers were from Stewart County: they 
were Joel Ragler, John Studdart and James Williams. They came in 
wagons, having made their way through the forest and settled near Man- 
leyville. When they arrived at Big Sandy it was so high tliey could not 
cross. After waiting two weeks they were compelled to make a canoe 
and a raft. When these were completed some of the party hesitated to 
enter. As evidence of the bold spirit of those pioneer women, "Granny" 
Studdart, on seeing the hesitation of the party, said, "I — I'll get in." 
She did so, and soon all were landed safely on the other shore. Other 
settlers near Paris were James Leiper, Gen. Richard Porter, John Brown, 
J. L. Allen and Dr. T. K. Allen. A horse-mill was erected by John 


David Crockett 


Carter, near Springville, iu 1820, and a water-mill in the northwest part 
of this county in the same year by Thomas James. 

Settlements began in Dyer County in 1823. William Nash settled 
between the forks of Forked Deer River; John Rutledge at Key Corner, 
and the Dugan family on Obion Lake. The first house built in Dyers- 
burg was erected by Elias Dement, and had only a dirt floor. Among 
other settlers in this section were John Rutherford, Benjamin Porter, 
John Bowers, William Bowers and William Martin. Nathaniel Benton, 
another settler, was a brother of Thomas H. Benton, who moved to Dyer 
County about 1818. The section away from the large rivers — the Ten- 
nessee and Mississippi — was not settled quite so early as those along the 
rivers. In what is now Gibson County the first settlement began about 
1819. Those who settled in that year were Thomas Fite, John Spencer 
and J. F. Randolpli. This settlement was made about eight miles east 
of Trenton. Other settlers followed in rapid succession; among them 
were Luke and Reuben Biggs, William Holmes, John B. Hogg, David 
P. Hamilton, Col. Thomas Gibson, John Ford and W. C. Love. That 
part of West Tennessee now embraced in Carroll County was settled by 
Thomas Hamilton on Cedar Creek, near McKenzie ; John Woods on Ruth- 
erford Fork of Obion ; Samuel McKee, Spencer and Nathaniel Edwards 
on the Big Sandy; and E. C. Daugherty where McLemoresville now 
stands ; and John Blunt, who built a mill on a branch of the Big Sandy 
in 1821-22. Settlements in Benton County began in 1819-20, the first 
settler being William and D. Rushing, on Rushing Creek, six miles 
north of Camden; the next was by Nicholas and Lewis Browers in 1820, 
on Randall Creek, twelve miles from Camden; Thomas and William 
Minnis, on Bird Song Creek, in 1820. Lauderdale County was first set- 
tled by Benjamin Porter, in April, 1820. He moved from Reynolds- 
ville by way of the Tennessee, the Ohio ; thence down the Mississippi to 
the mouth of the Forked Deer ; thence up said river to Key Corner, near 
which place he settled and remained till his death. The first flat-boat 
on Forked Deer River brought the family, household goods and stock of 
Henry Benjamin to Lauderdale County in 1820. One of the first cotton 
gins in West Tennessee is said to have been built at Key Corner in 1827, 
by John Jordan and William Chambers. Capt. Shockey ran the first 
steam-boat, the "Grey Eagle," up Forked Deer River in 1836. Capt. 
Thomas Durham, of North Carolina, settled at what is now Durhamville, 
in 1826. A man named Vincent settled at Fulton, near the Chickasaw 
BlufPs, on the Mississippi, in 1819, and John A. Givens, from South 
Carolina, one and one-half miles east of the blufp in 1820. Other set- 
tlers in Lauderdale were Henrv and John Rutherford, sons of Gen. 


Griffith Eutherford, of North Carolina. James Sherman, who resided in 
Lauderdale for a great many years, was once on a jury which was trying 
a man for his life. They were unable to agree, and stood six for con- 
viction and six for clearing the man. The judge refused to release the 
jury without a verdict. It was finally agreed to leave the matter to a 
game of "seven-up." A deck was sent for and the champions were 
chosen. The game was hotly contested, but by the fortunate turn of a 
card the game was decided in favor of the defendant. This story, though 
seemingly incredible, is vouched for on excellent authority, and shows 
the crude idea of administering justice in that day. 

The first settlers in Tipton County were from Middle Tennessee and 
the older States. Among these were H. Terrell, E. T. Pope, E. "VV. San- 
ford, Gen. Jacob Tipton, Maj. Lauderdale, Capt. Scurry, Dr. Hold, 
the Durhams, Mitchells, Davises, Pryors, Hills, Parrishes and Garlands. 
In the "White and Archer neighborhood were C. C. Archer, George Shark- 
ley, William McGuire and the Whites. In and near Eandolph were K. 
H. Douglass, George W. Frazier, Thomas Eobinson, Jesse Benton, M. 
Phillips, E. H. Munford, A. N. McAllister, W. P. Mills, Anderson Hunt, 
the Simpsons and Clements. On Big Creek were Dr. E. H. Eose, Henry 
Turnage, Capt Jones, Capt. Newman, Alfred Hill and Maj. Legrand. The 
vicinity of Indian Creek was settled by the Smiths, Owens, Kellers, 
Kinney s and Walks. " Old Uncle Tommy" Ealp built a horse-mill one 
mile from Covington, this being perhaps the first in the county. 

The portion of West Tennessee known as Crockett County, was set- 
tled about 1823. Among the first in this section were John B. Boykin, B. 
B. Epperson, Alexander Avery, David Nann, Isaac Koonse, Thomas Thw- 
eatt, James Friar Eandolph, Anthony Swift, John McFarland, John 
Yancey, Zepheniah Porter, Solomon .Eice, Giles Hawkins, Joseph Clay, 
John Bowers, E. Williams, Cornelius Bunch and Eobert Johnson. J. 
F. Eandolph, above mentioned, moved with his father from Alabama, and 
settled at McMinnville, Warren County ; thence to AVest Tennessee. I 
M. Johnson was a native of Eutherford County, and settled in what was 
then Haywood, now Crockett, in 1823. 

Into Haywood County the whites began to enter about 1820. The 
first permanent settler is believed to have been Col. Eichard Nixon, 
in 1821, who was born October 26, 1769, and whose father was a 
Eevolutionary soldier. For his services in that war he was reward- 
ed by a grant of 3,600 acres of land. The grant fell in Haywood 
County, and on a portion of this Col. Nixon settled. His place of 
settlement was on Nixon Creek, about four miles from Brownsville. 
Lawrence McGuire, David Hay, Sr., B. H. Sanders, David Jefferson, N.. 


T. Perkins, David Cherry and Joel Estes, were among those who found 
homes on the north side of the river. Those settling down amidst the 
virgin forest on the south side of the river were Oliver Wood, B. G. 
Alexander, Samuel P. Ashe and Rev. Thomas P. Neely. The latter of 
these came between 1826 and 1828. It was at the house of Col. Nixon 
that the fii-st courts were established in 1824. As rivers were about the 
only means of egress at that time nearly all settlements were made along 
the river courses. 

After the final treaty with the Chickasaws, by which they gave up 
West Tennessee, the inhabitants from East and Middle Tennessee, North 
and South Carolina and Virginia began to pour rapidly into those un- 
occupied lands. The first in the vicinity of Jackson were Adam R. 
Alexander, William Doak and Lewis Jones. In the Wilson neigh- 
borhood were Theophilus and David Launder, and Mr, Lacy. In 1820 
John Hargrave and Duncan Mclver settled in the vicinity of " Old Cot- 
ton Grove," and a little later John Bradley; about the same time J. Wad- 
dell settled on Spring Creek. The city of Jackson was built on lands 
owned by B. G. Stewart, Joseph Lynn and James Trousdale. Dr. Will- 
iam Butler planted cotton in 1821, in this county; also erected a giu 
the same year, which was brought all the way from Davidson County. 
Bernard Mitchell brought a keel-boat loaded with goods, groceries and 
whisky, up Forked Deer, and landed within one mile and a half of Jack- 
son; this was the first to vex the waters of that stream. 

Pioneers eame into Henderson County in 1821 ; a few came earlier. 
Joseph Reel was beyond doubt the first permanent white settler in the 
county. He came to the place in 1818, and settled on Beech River, about 
five miles east of the present site of Lexington. His sons John and Will- 
iam remained on the same land during their lifetime. Abner Taylor set- 
tled near the site of Lexington ; Maj. John Harmon near the head waters 
of the Big Sandy; Jacob Bartholomew and William Hay at the head of 
Beech River; William Cain and George Powers near the site of Pleas- 
ant Exchange ; William Doffy at the head waters of the south branch of 
Forked Deer River; William Dismukes on the north fork of Forked 
Deer, and Joseph Reed near Pine Knob. This county developed rajDidly. 
A mill was built on Mud Creek, in 1821, by John and William Brigham, 
and one on Forked Deer about the same time by Daniel Barecroft. A 
horse-mill was built on the road from Lexington to Trenton about the 
same time ; also a cotton-gin by Maj. 'John Harmon, on Beech Creek, 
in 1823. The first legal hanging in the vicinity was the execution of 
a slave woman of Dr. John A. Wilson's for the willful drowning of his 
daughter. Willis Dasden, who moved into this county from North Car- 


olina, was a man remarkable for size ; liis weight was never known, but 
was estimated at 800 j)ounds. 

Samuel Wilson owned the land on which the city of Lexington now 
stands; this was set apart for the city in 1822. The land office was 
established at the house of Samuel Wilson in the same year. 

The rich and attractive lands on the Tennessee in the southeastern 
portion of this county was first to attract immigrants. Almost as soon as 
the Indian title was extinguished, 1818, immigrants began to pour into 
this section of the newly acquired territory. That portion of the country 
known as Hardin County was laid off in 1820 and named in honor of 
Capt. John Hardin, of Revolutionary fame. James Hardin settled at the 
mouth of Horse Creek, a tributary entering the Tennessee not far from 
Savannah, in 1818 or 1819, and a horse-mill was erected on the same 
stream by Charles B. Nelson in 1819. It was doubtless from this source 
that the stream" got its name. T. C. Johnson, Lewis Faulkner, Samuel 
Faulkner and Daniel Robinson settled on Turkey Creek about 1820. 
Hiram Boon settled on a small stream that was afterward called Boon's 
Creek. James White gave a name to a small creek, a tributary of Horse 
Creek. Thomas White became a resident on Flat Gap Creek in 1819. 
Samuel Parmley, Thomas Cherry and Samuel Bruton became residents 
of this section at a little later period, all of whom were on the east side 
of the river. On the west side of the river, opposite the mouth of Horse 
Creek, Simpson Lee, Nathaniel Way and James McMaha*n took claims 
in 1818 or 1819. The pioneers were compelled, before the erection of 
mills, to depend upon the mortar or hand-mill for meal. This being 
rather a slow process water or horse-mills were encouraged and liberally 
patronized. A water-mill was built by Jesse Lacewell, on Smith's Fork 
of Indian Creek, in 1819, and another about the same time and near the 
same place by John Williams. Few regular ferries were to be found at 
that time. The Indian with his light or birch-bark canoe was enabled 
to cross the stream at almost any time as he could carry his boat with 
him. It was not till after his white brother got possession of the country 
that regular ferries were established. Among the first of these was one 
at Rudd's Bluff, just above where Savannah now stands. This was in 
1818. Lewis H. Broyles opened a store in this section in 1819-20. 
His goods were loaded on a flat-boat in East Tennessee and floated 
down the Tennessee to the place of landing. The first marriage cere- 
mony in this county was performed by Rev. James English in 1818, 
the contracting parties being A. B. Gantt and Miss M. Boon. All the 
necessary wants of a civilized and progressive people were soon supplied 
to these people, as a school was being taught near Hardinsville in 1820, 


by Nathauiel Casey; a church of the Primitive Baptists was built on 
Tui'key Creek in 1819-20, with Rev. Charles Riddle as pastor; a cotton- 
gin was built by James Boyd on Horse Creek in 1822. Courts were 
established in January, 1820, at the house of Col. James Hardin, near 
the mouth of Horse Creek. A small log court house was soon after 
erected, having a dirt floor and dimensions 16x20 feet. A large hollow 
tree sufficed for an improvised jail. 

Immediately west of Hardeman County lies McNairy; this county 
being away from any of the larger streams immigrants did not reach it 
quite so early as some of the counties whose location was geographically 
more favorable. Among the pioneers of this county were Abel Oxford, 
who settled on Oxford Creek below the mouth of Cypress ; also Quincy 
Hodge and William S. Wisdom with their families settled in the south- 
west part of the county. Others were John Shull, Peter Sliull, John 
Plunk, John Woodburn and Francis Kirby, whose son, Hugh Kirby, was 
the first white child born, 1821, in the county. James Reed and Allen 
Sweat came from North Carolina and settled in McNairy about 1824. 
John Chambers and N. Griffith established the first business house in 
the county. A water-mill was built on Cypress Creek in 1824, by Boyd 
& Barnesett. 

Lying in the upper valley of the Big Hatchie is Hardeman County. 
Settlements began in this portion of W^est Tennessee in 1819-20. 
Among the first and for whom the county was named was Col. Thomas J. 
Hardeman, also Col. Ezekiel Polk, his son William Polk and son-in-law 
Thomas McNeal. Before permanent settlements began a number of tran- 
sient persons had squatted in different parts of the county. Among them 
was Joseph Fowler, who settled at Fowler's Ferry, about sixteen miles 
south of Bolivar. The next permanent settlement was made by William 
Shinault in the southwest part of the county ,► not far from Hickory Val- 
ley. Jacob Purtle raised a crop of corn near " Hatchie Town," in the 
neighborhood ot Thomas McNeal's in 1821. William Polk made a crop 
the same year, five miles north of Bolivar. On the organization of the 
county court, in 1823, he was made chairman. A mill was built by Sam- 
uel Polk on Pleasant Run Creek, one and one-half miles east of the pres- 
ent site of Bolivar, about 1823; a second one was built on Mill Creek 
about six miles south of Bolivar, in the same year, for Col. John Murray 
by John Golden. A school was taught in the Shinault neighborhood in 
1823-24 by Edwin Crawford. Maj. John H. Bills and Prudence McNeal 
were the first couple united in marriage in that vicinity by the laws of 
civilization. The steam-boat "Roer," commanded by Capt. Newman, 
was the first to stem the waters of Hatchie as far up as Bolivar, 


Fayette County began to be settled about 1822-23. Among the first 
was Thomas J. Cocke, who came from North Carolina and settled in the 
northwest part of the county in 1823. E. G. Thornton and Joel Lang- 
ham followed soon after. Where Somerville now stands the lands were 
entered by George Bowers and James Brown some time before 1825. 
Bears and wolves and other beasts of the forest were then holding 
almost undisputed sway throughout the territory. Joseph Simpson 
claimed to have killed a bear, near where the court house of the county 
now stands, in 1824. The county seat, Somerville, was named in honor 
of Lieut. Eobert Somerville, who was killed at Horseshoe Bend in bat- 
tle with the Indians. Other settlers Avere David Jornegan, Thomas Cook, 
Daniel Head (a gunsmith), Horace Loomis, Dr. Smith, Henry Kirk, 
Henry M. Johnson, William Owen, L. G. Evans, William Eamsey, Daniel 
Cliff and John T. Patterson, with their families. 

The oldest and most wealthly division in West Tennessee is Shelby 
County. Could the rocks and rills speak, or "the books in running brooks" 
and "the tongues in trees" tell their story of the past, volumes of un- 
told interest would be revealed to us which must forever remain hidden. 
It is problematical whether the adventurous Spaniard, DeSoto, in the 
year 1540, was the first white man to tread the soil of this portion of 
Tennessee or whether it was left to the French Father Marquette or 
Bienville ; yet this much is certain, it is historic ground, around which 
cluster many events having great weight in the march of civilization. 
Known as it was for more than 200 years with its inviting prospects, it 
seems strange that the polished hand of civilization should have been 
held back so long. The Chickdsaw Bluffs were long a place of getting 
or receiving supplies between the whites and Indians ; it did not become 
B place of permanent abode for the whites till about 1818-19. Among 
the first settlers in Shelby County were Joel Kagler and James Williams. 
Shelby was admitted into the sisterhood of counties on November 24, 
1810, although the first court was not held until May 1, 1824. This was 
opened at Chickasaw Bluffs on the above date. As few if any roads 
were open for travel through the county, the first was opened from Mem- 
phis to the Taylor Mill settlement on Forked Deer Eiver. Persons con- 
nected with road officially were Thomas H. Persons, John Fletcher, John 
C. McLemore, Marcus B. Winchester, Charles Holeman and William 
Erwin. William Irvine was the legalized ferryman at Memphis in 1820. 
The following were the rates charged: Each man and horse, $1; each 
loose horse, 50 cents ; each hog or sheep, 25 cents ; each four-wheeled 
carriage drawn by four horses, the wagon being empty, |3 ; the same, 
loaded, $5; each four-wheeled vehicle and two horses, $1.50; the 


same, loaded, $2.50. The first ordinaries or houses of entertainment 
were kept in the city of Memphis in 1820 by Joseph James and Patrick 
Meagher. These houses were regulated by law as to charges, board 
being $2.50 to $3.50 per week or $1 per day. A horse was kept at 
$2.50 a week or 50 cents per day. The court was somewhat itinerant in 
its nature at first, having been changed to Kaleigh in 1827, and then to 
Colliersville in 1837. Peggy Grace is said to have purchased the first 
lot after the city of Memphis was laid out. Among the earliest settlers 
in the county were W. A. Thorp, who owned a grant near the old State 
line — a little north of it — and Peter Adams, who settled near the same 
place, a little south of the old line. On Big Creek, in 1820, were settled 
Jesse Benton, Charles McDaniel, D. C. Treadwell, Samuel Smith and 
Joel Crenshaw. In the vicinity of Raleigh were Dr. Benjamin Hawkins, 
William P. Reaves, Thomas Taylor and "William Sanders. The first 
American white child born in Shelby County was John W. Williams, in 
1822. The steam-boat, "^Etna" was the first to make regular trips to 
the wharf at Memphis early in the decade of the twenties. A brief 
retrospect shows that in a few years after the Indian title was extin- 
guished in West Tennessee, the whole country was changed as if by 
magic into an abode of civilization, wealth and refinement. In less than 
a decade every part of it was organized into counties, having their 
courts, churches, schools and accumulating wealth. 



Organization— The European Chakters— Proprietary Grants— The Bound- 
ary Controversies— Causes of Dispute— Failure of Attempted Set- 
tlement OF THE Question— Final Establishment— I^ew Causes for 
Dispute — Extension of the Northern Line — The Walker and the 
Henderson Surveys— The Resulting Confusion— Opinion of Gov. 
Blount — The Demands of Kentucky— Negotiations— Illogical Posi- 
tion OF Tennessee— The Compromise of 1820— The Readjustment of 1860 
—The Southern Boundary Established in 1818 and in 1821— The 
Watauga Association — Officers and Laws— The Government of the 
Notables — The "Compact" or "Agreement" — Laavs — The State of 
Franklin — Causes which led to its Formation— Form of Government 
— The First Legislative Assembly — Interference of North Carolina 
—Resistance of Gov. Sevier— Ratification of the Constitution- 
Conflict OF Authority— Severe Measures— Fall of the State of 

THE j&rst charter granted by an English, sovereign to an English 
subject to lands in North America, was by Queen Elizabeth to Sir 
Humphrey Gilbert, to any lands he might discover in North America. 
Its date was about June 11, 1578, and it was to be of perpetual efficacy 
provided the plantation should be established within six years. After 
several failures Sir Humphrey made a determined effort in 1583 to 
plant a colony on the island of Newfoundland, which resulted fatally to 
himself, his little bark of ten tons going down in a storm with himself 
and all on board. 

The second grant was by Queen Elizabeth to Sir Walter Raleigh, and 
was dated March 26, 1584. It was similar in its provisions, to that 
granted to Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and as Sir Walter's patent included 
what is now Tennessee, those provisions may be briefly stated in this 
connection. They are worthy of particular attention, as they unfold the 
ideas of that age respecting the rights of " Christian rulers," to countries 
inhabited by savage nations, or those who had not yet been brought 
under the benign influences of the gospel. 

Elizabeth authorized Sir- Walter to discover, and take possession of 
all barbarous lands unoccupied by any Christian prince or people, and 
vested in him, his heirs and assigns forever, the right of property in the 
soil of those countries of which he should take possession. Permission 
was given such of the Queen's subjects as were willing to accompany Sir 
Walter to go and settle in the countries which he might plant, and he 
was empowered, as were also his heirs and assigns, to dispose of what- 


ever portion of tliose lands lie or they should judge fit to persons settling 
there in fee simple acccording to the laws of England; she conferred 
upon him, his heirs and assigns, the complete jurisdiction and royalties, 
as well marine as other within the said lands and seas thereunto adjoin- 
ing, and gave him full power to convict, punish, pardon, govern and rule 
in causes capital and criminal, as well as civil, all persons who should 
from time to time settle in these countries, according to such laws and 
ordinances, as should hy him, or by his heirs and assigns, be devised 
and established. 

Ealeigh, one of the most enterprising, accomplished and versatile men 
of his time was eager to undertake and execute the scheme of settling his 
grant, and, in pursuit of this design, despatched two small vessels under 
command of Amadas and Barlow, two officers of trust, to visit the coun- 
try which he intended to settle. In order to avoid the serious error made 
by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in coasting too far north, Raleigh's captains 
selected the course by the Canary and West India Islands, and arrived 
on the American coast July 4, 1584, landing on the island of Wocoken. 
Raleigh's grant was named by the Queen " Virginia," in commemoration 
of her state of life. But notwithstanding the precautions of the captains, 
and the smiles of the virgin queen upon the various attempts made to 
settle this grant, these attempts all terminated no less disastrously than 
had Sir Gilbert's, and at the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, in 1603, 
not a . solitary Englishman had effected a permanent settlement on North 
American soil. 

In 1607, however, a more successful effort was made to form a perma- 
nent English colony on this continent at Jamestown, in Virginia. In 
1609 a second charter was granted to this colony, investing the company 
with the election of a council, and the exercise of legislative power inde- 
pendent of the crown. In 1612 a third patent conferred upon the com- 
pany a more democratic form of government, and in 1619 the colonists 
were themselves allowed a share in legislation. In 1621 a written con- 
stitution was brought out by Sir Eraucis Wyatt, under which constitution 
each colonist became a freeman and a citizen. The colony prospered, 
and extended its southern boundaries to Albemarle Sound, upon which 
the first permanent settlers of North Carolina pitched their tents, hav- 
ing been attracted in this direction by reports of an adventurer from 
Virginia, who, upon returning from an expedition of some kind, spoke in 
the most glowing terms of the kindness of the people, of the excellence 
of the soil and of the salubrity of the climate. 

Representations of this kind reaching England had the effect of 
stimulating into activity the ambition and cupidity of certain English 


courtiers, and on March 24, 1663, Charles II made a grant to Edward, 
Earl of Clarendon, "hated by the people, faithful to the king;" Monk, 
"conspicuous in the Restoration, now the Duke of Albemarle;" Lord 
Craven, "brave cavalier, supposed to be the husband of the Queen of Bo- 
hemia ;" Lord Ashley Cooper, afterward Earl of Shaftesbury ; Sir John 
Colleton; Lord John Berkeley and his younger brother, Sir William 
Berkeley, and Sir George Carteret, "passionate, ignorant and not too 
honest," the grant including the country between the thirty-first and 
thirty-sixth jjarallels of latitude, and extending from the Atlantic to the 
Pacific Ocean. 

Notwithstanding the extent of this grant the proprietaries above 
named, in June, 1665, secured by another patent its enlargement and an 
enlargement of their powers. This second charter granted by King 
Charles II was in part as follows: 

Charles the Second, by the grace of God, op Great Britain,. France and 
Ireland, king, defender of the faith, etc. 

Whereas, By our letters patent, bearing date the 24tli of March, in the fifteenth 
year of our reign, we were graciously pleased to grant unto our right trusty and right well 
beloved cousin and counsellor, Edward, Earl of Clarendon, our high chancellor of Eng- 
land [here follow the names of the other grantees as given above] all that province, 
territory or tract of ground called Carolina, situate, lying and being within our dominions 
<jf America, extending from the north end of the island called Luke Island, which lieth in 
the southern Virginia seas, and within thirty-six degrees of north latitude, and to the west 
as far as the South seas, and so south respectively as far as the river Matthias, which bor- 
dereth upon the coast of Florida and within thirty-one degrees of northern latitude, and 
so west in a direct line as far as the South seas aforesaid. 

Know ye, that at the humble request of the said grantees, we are graciously pleased 
to enlarge our said grant unto them according to the bounds and limits hereafter specified, 
and in favor of the pious and noble purpose'^ of the said Edward, Earl of Clarendon [the 
names of the other proprietaries here follow], their heirs and assigns, all that province, 
territory or tract of land, situate, lying and being within our dominions of America as 
aforesaid, extending north and eastward as far as the north end of Currituck River or Inlet, 
upon a straight line westerly to Wyonoak Creek, which lies within or about the degree of 
thirty-six and thirty minutes, north latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the South 
seas, and south and westward as far as the degree of twenty-nine, inclusive, of northern 
latitude, and so west in a direct line as far as the South seas, together with all and singu- 
lar the ports, harbors, bays, rivers and inlets belonging unto the province and territory 

This grant was made June 30, 1665, and embraced the territory 
now included in the following States : North and South Carolina, Georgia, 
Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, and parts of 
Florida, Missouri, Texas, New Mexico and California. The line of thirty- 
six degrees and thirty minutes extending from the top of the Alleghany 
Mountains to the eastern bank of the Tennessee Eiver, separates Virginia 
and Kentucky from Tennessee. The powers granted to the lords, pro- 
prietors of this immense province, were those of dictating constitutions 

*Tbi8 pious and noble purpose was none other than the increase of their own worth and dignity. 


and laws for the people bj and with the advice and assent of the freemen 
thereof, or the greater part of them, or of their delegates or deputies, 
who were to be assembled from time to time for that purpose. 

This munificent grant was surrendered to the King July 25, 1729, 
by seven of the eight proprietors under authority of an act of parliament 
(2nd George, 2nd ch., 34), each of the seven receiving £2,500, besides 
a small sum for quit rents. The eighth proprietor, Lord Carteret, after- 
ward Earl Granville, on the 17th of September, 1744, relinquished his 
claim to the right of government, but b}' a commission appointed, jointly 
by the King and himself, was given his eighth of the soil granted by the 
charter, bounded as follows: "North by the Virginia line, east by the 
Atlantic, south by latitude thirty-five degrees {hirty-four minutes north, 
and west as far as the bounds of the charter." Prior to this the govern- 
ment of Carolina had been proprietary; but now (after 1729) it became 
regal, and the province was divided into two governments. North and 
South Carolina, in 1732. The Georgia Charter, issued in 1732, comprised 
much of the Carolina grant, but after 1752 the proprietors gave up the 
government, which also then became regal. Tennessee from this time 
until the treaty of Paris, in 1782, continued the property of the British 
Government, when all right to it was relinquished to North Carolina. 

It may be interesting to the general reader to learn that the 
descendant of Lord Carteret, who had become the Earl of Granville 
before the Revolutionary war, brought suit a short time before the war 
of 1812 in the Circuit Court of the United States for the district of 
North Carolina, for the recovery of his possessions. The case, as we 
learn from the Hon. W. H. Battle, formerly one of the judges of the 
Supreme Court of North Carolina, was tried before C. J. Marshall, and 
Judge Potter, who was then the district judge, and resulted in a verdict and 
judgment against the plaintiff, whereupon he appealed to the Supreme 
Court of the United States. Before the case could be heard in that court 
the war of 1812 came on, which put a stop to it and it was never revived. 

William Gaston (afterward Judge Gaston), then a young man, 
appeared in the suit for the plaintiff, and Messrs. Cameron (afterward 
Judge Cameron), Baker (afterward Judge Baker) and Woods appeared 
for the defendants. The question was whether Lord Granville's rights, 
which had been confiscated by the State of North Carolina during the 
Revolutionary war, had been restored by the treaty of peace between the 
United States and Great Britain. The case was never reported. Thus 
passed away the last vestige of the most munificent gift of which history 
makes mention.* 

'Killebrew's Resources of Tennessee. 


The twenty-fifth section of the Declaration of Rights of North Caro- 
lina at the time of the adoption of her constitution in December, 1776, 
so far as it relates to the boundary of that State, is as follows: 

The property of the soil in a free government being one of the essential rights of the 
collective body of the people, it is necessary in order to avoid future disputes, that the 
limits of the State should be ascertained with precision; and as the former temporary line 
between North and South Carolina was confirmed and extended by commissioners appoint- 
ed by the Legislatures of the two States agreeable to the order of the late King George 
the Second in Council, that line and that only should be esteemed the southern boundary 
of this Slate as follows, that is to say: Beginning on the sea-side at a cedar stake at or 
near the mouth of Little Rivei-, being the southern extremity of Brunswick County; and 
runs thence a northwest course through the Boundary House which stands in thirty-three 
degrees and fifty-six minutes to thirty-five degrees nortli latitude; and from thence a west 
course so far as is mentioned in the charter of King Charles the Second to the late pro- 
prietors of Carolina: Therefore all the territories, seas, waters and harbors with their 
appurtenances, lying between the line above described and the southern line of the State 
of Virginia, which begins on the sea shore in thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north 
latitude; and from thence runs west agreeable to the said cliarter of King Charles I., the 
right and property of the people of this State to be held by them in sovereignty, any 
partial line without the consent of the Legislature of this State at any time thereafter 
directed or laid out in any wise notwithstanding. 

A number of provisos was included in the section, the last being 
that "nothing herein contained shall affect the title or possessions of 
individuals holding or claiming under the laws heretofore in force, or 
grants heretofore made by the late King George the Third, or his pred- 
ecessors, or the late lord proprietors or any of them." 

The history of the establishment of the line — thirty-six degrees and 
thirty minutes — as the northern boundary of North Carolina, is as fol- 
lows: James I, King of England, on May 23, 1609, made a grant to 
Eobert, Earl of Salisbury ; Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, and numerous other 
persons, "of all those countries lying in that part of America called Vir- 
ginia, from the point of land called Cape or Point Comfort, all along the 
sea-coast to the northward 200 miles, and from the same Point Comfort 
all along the sea-coast to the southward 200 miles, and all that space or 
circuit of land throughout from sea to sea." The above was the enlarged 
grant to the London Company, and extended along the Atlantic coast 
from Sandy Hook to Cape Fear, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific 
Ocean. In 1620 the grant to the Plymouth Company made the fortieth 
parallel their southern limit, and established that parallel as the northern 
iDoundary of Virginia. On March 24, 1662, Charles II made his first 
grant to the proprietors of Carolina as recited above, and on June 30. 
1665, Charles II enlarged this grant, as also recited above, and named a 
line destined to become only less famous in the history of the United 
States than Mason and Dixon's line, viz. : the line of thirty-six degrees 
and thirty minutes north latitude. The language of this second charter 


of Charles II, so far as it pertains to tliis famous line, is as follows: " All 
the province, etc., in America, extending north and eastward as far as the 
north end of Currituck Biver or inlet, upon a straight westerly line to 
Wyonoak Creek, which lies within or about thirty-six degrees and thirty 
minutes northern latitude, and so west on a direct line at far as the South 
Seas." North Carolina was called " Our County of Albemarle," in Caro- 
lina until about 1700, when it began to be called the Colony of North 
Carolina. The boundary line between North Carolina and Virginia soon 
began to be the source of considerable altercation between the two 
colonies, for the reason that the grant of Charles I overlapped the 
grant of his grandfather, James I. That this altercation was not fol- 
lowed by strife and bloodshed was due in part to the necessity of mutual 
aid and defense during the protracted struggle preceding and during the 
Revolution. But notwithstanding the forbearance thus caused and mani- 
fested is was necessary to locate this unlocated boundary line, for Vir- 
ginians were continually claiming lands south of the proper line, under 
what they supposed to be titles from the Crown, and North Carolinians 
were as continually entering lands to the north of the proper limits under 
warrants from the lord proprietors of Carolina. 

The London Company had been dissolved by James I, and when this 
dissolution occurred Virginia became a royal province ; hence the settle- 
ment of the boundary line between Virginia and Carolina devolved upon 
the Crown and the lord' proprietors. Early in 1710 commissioners 
representing the Crown of England, met similar commissioners represent- 
ing the lord proprietors, having for their object the settlement of this 
vexed question. But upon attempting to fix upon a starting point, they 
failed to agree by a difference of about fifteen miles ; hence they separa- 
ted without having accomplished anything. Against the Carolina com- 
missioners serious charges were made. On the 1st of March, 1710, an 
order of council was issued, from which the following is extracted: 
" The commissioners of Carolina are both persons engaged in interest to 
obstruct the settling of the boundaries ; for one of them has been for sev- 
eral years surveyor general of Carolina, and has acquired great profit to 
himself by surveying lands within the controverted bounds, and has taken 
up several tracts of land in his own name. The other of them is at this 
time surveyor general, and hath the same prospect of advantage by 
making future surveys within the same bounds." The conclusion of the 
order is as follows: " Her Majesty, in Council, is pleased to order as it 
is hereby ordered, the Right Honorable, the Lord Commissioners for 
Trade and Plantations, do signify her Majesty's pleasure herein to her 
Majesty's Governor or Commander-in-chief of Virginia for the time 


being, and to all persons to whom it may belong, as is proposed by their 

LordshijDs in said representation, and the Right Honorable, the Lord 

Proprietors of Carolina are to do what on their part does appertain." 

In January, 1711, commissioners appointed by both the governors of 

North Carolina and Virginia again attempted to settle the question, but 

failed to complete their task for want of money. Great inconvenience to 

the settlers was the result of this protracted controversy, and a remedy 

was sought in an act, the preamble of which was as follows : 

"Whereas, great suit, debate and controversy hath heretofore been, and may hereafter 
arise by means of ancient titles to lands derived from grants and patents by the governor 
of Virginia, the condition of which patents has not been performed, nor quit-rents paid, 
or the lands have been deserted by the first patentees or from or by reason of former en- 
tries or patents or grants in this government, etc., and for the prevention of the recur- 
rence of such troubles, and for quieting men's estates an act was passed. 

In obedience to the above quoted order of the Queen an agreement 
was entered into between the two governors, Charles Eden and Alexan- 
der Spottswood, which was transmitted to England for the approbation 
of the King. This agreement was approved by the King in council, and 
also by the lord proprietors and returned to the governors to be exe- 
cuted. The agreement or "convention," as Haywood calls it, was as 
follows: "That from the mouth of Currituck River, or Inlet, setting the 
compass on the north shore thereof, a due west line shall be run and 
fairly marked, and if it happen to cut Chowan River between the mouth 
of Nottaway River and Wiccacon Creek, then the same direct course 
shall be continued toward the mountains, and be ever deemed the divid- 
ino- line between Virtjinia and North Carolina. But if the said west line 
cuts Chowan River to the southward of Wiccacon Creek, then from that 
point of intersection the bounds shall be allowed to continue up the mid- 
dle of the Chowan River to the middle of the entrance into said Wicca- 
con Creek, and from thence a due west line shall divide the two govern- 
ments. That if said west line cuts Blackwater River to the northward of 
Nottaway River, then from the point of intersection the bounds shall be 
allowed to be continued down the middle of said Blackwater River to the 
middle of the entrance into said Nottaway River, and from thence a due 
west line shall divide the two governments, etc." 

Commissioners were appointed to carry this agreement or convention 
into effect, in accordance with following order: "At the court of St. 
James, the 2Sth day of March, 1727. Present the King's Most Excel- 
lent Majesty in Council. * * His Majesty is hereupon pleased 
with the advice of his Privy Council to approve the said Proposals, * 
* * and to order, as it is hereby ordered, that the Governor or 
Commander-in-chief of our Colony in Virginia do settle the said bound- 


aries iu conjunction with the Governor of North Carolina, agreeable to 
said Proposals." The royal commission, so far as it regards Virginia, 
was in part as follows: "George II, by the Grace of God of Great Brit- 
ain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, to our well- 
beloved "William Byrd, Eichard Fitz William and William Dandridge, 
Esqrs., members of our Council of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, 
Greeting." This commission was dated December 14, 1727. The Caro- 
lina commission was dated February 21, 1728, and as that colony was 
under the government of the lord proprietors, the commission runs in 
their name: ''Sir Eichard Everard, Baronet, Governor, Captain, General 
and Commander-in-chief of the said Province: To Christopher Gale, 
Esqr., Chief Justice; John Lovick, Esqr., Secretary; Edward Mosely, 
Esqr., Surveyor General, and William Little, Esqr., Attorney General, 
Greeting: * * I, therefore, reposing especial confidence in 

you * * to be Commissioners on the part of the true and absolute 
Lord Proprietors." 

The commissioners thus appointed met at Currituck Inlet March G, 
1728, and after some disputes placed a cedar post on the north shore of 
Currituck Inlet, as their starting point. This point was found to be in 
north latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty-one minutes, and at that 
point the variation of the compass was found to be very nearly three de- 
grees, one minute and two seconds west, Allowing for this variation 
they ran, as they supposed, a due west line, passing through the Dismal 
Swamp, and acquired, as Col. Byrd expresses it, "immortal reputation bv 
being the first of mankind that ever ventured through the Dismal 
Swamp." Upon arriving at Buzzard Creek about 169 miles westward 
from the Atlantic coast, the Carolina commissioners abandoned the work, 
October 5, 1728. Mr. Fitz William also abandoned the work at the same 
time. Col. Byrd and Mr. Dandridge continued the line to a point on 
Peter^s Creek, a tributary of Dan Eiver, near the Saura Towns, 241 miles 
and 30 poles from the coast, and there marked the termination of their 
work on a red oak tree, October 26, 1728. Col. Byrd wrote a delightful 
work entitled: "The History of the Dividing Line," in which he records 
his disappointment at finding that the people along the border were de- 
sirous of falling on the Carolina side of the line, and though disgusted 
and indignant, as well as disappointed, at this preference of the people, 
yet true to the generosity of his nature, he favored their wishes as far as 
his instructions would permit, and located the line about one mile north 
of thirty-six degrees and thirty-one minutes. In his history he says: 
"We constantly found the borderers laid it to heart, if their land was 
taken into Virginia. They chose much rather to belong to Carolina, 


where they pay no tribute to God or Caesar." Col. Byrd closes his nar- 
rative in the following language: "Nor can we by any means reproach 
ourselves of having put the Crown to any exorbitant expense in this 
difficult affair, the whole charge from beginning to end amounting to no 
more than £1,000. But let no one concerned in this painful Expedition 
complain of the scantiness of his pay, so long as his Majesty has been 
graciously pleased to add to our reward the Honour of his Royal appro- 
bation, and to declare, notwithstanding the Desertion of the Carolina 
Commissioners, that the line by us run shall hereafter stand as the true 
Boundary betwixt the Governments of Virginia and North Carolina." 

The next step in the history of this line was taken in 1749, Avhen it 
was extended westward from Peters Creek, where Col. Byrd terminated 
his labors, to a point on Steep Rock Creek, a distance of eighty-eight 
miles, in all 329 miles from the coast. In this extension the commis- 
sioners on the part of Virginia were Joshua Fry, professor of mathe- 
matics in William and Mary College, and Peter Jefferson, father of 
Thomas Jefferson, afterward President of the United States ; and on the 
part of North Carolina they were Daniel Weldon and William Churton. 

The line thus extended by these last commissioners was satisfactory, 
and remained the boundary between North Carolina and Virginia ; and 
as by the treaty of Paris in 1763, the Mississippi River was fixed upon 
as the western boundary of North Carolina, it was hoped that that and 
the northern boundary line were established — the latter at thirty-six de- 
grees and thirty minutes. In 1779, urged by the necessities of the 
western settlements, the Legislatures of Virginia and North Carolina 
appointed a joint commission to extend the line westward between their 
respective territories. The commissioners on the part of North Carolina 
were Col. Richard Henderson and William B. Smith ; and on the part of 
Virginia, Dr. Thomas Walker and Daniel Smith. These commissioners 
were instructed to begin the extension of the line where Fry and Jeffer- 
son, and Weldon and Churton ended their work; and if that were found 
to be truly in latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north, then 
to run due west from that point to the Tennessee or the Ohio River. If 
that point were found not to be truly in said latitude, then to run from 
the said place due north or due south into the said latitude and thence 
due west to the said Tennessee or Ohio River, correcting said course at 
due intervals by astronomical observations. 

The commissioners met early in September, 1779, but failed to find 
the point on Steep Rock Creek where Fry and Jefferson, and Weldon 
and Churton ended their line. The point of observation chosen, according 
to memoranda of agreement entered on the books of both parties, was in 


north latitude thirty-six degrees, thirty-cue minutes and twenty-five 
seconds, and in west longitude eighty-one degrees and twelve minutes. 
From this point they ran due south one mile, to a point supposed to be 
in latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes. From this point they 
ran a line, as they supposed, due west about forty-five miles, to Carter's 
Valley, when a disagreement occurred, and the two commissions separated. 
Each commission then ran a line independent of the other as far west as 
the Cumberland Mountain, the two lines being parallel with each other, 
and about two miles apart. The line run by the North Carolina commis- 
sioners, generally known as Henderson's line, was north of that run by 
the Virginia commissioners, likewise generally known as "Walker's line. 
At the Cumberland Mountain the North Carolina commissioners aban- 
doned their work after sending in a protest against Walker's line. The 
Virginia commissioners continued with their line to the Tennessee River, 
leaving, however, an unsurveyed gap from Deer Fork to the east crossing 
of Cumberland River, a distance estimated by them to be one huncbed 
and nine miles. Although not authorized to do so, the commissioners 
marked the termination of this line on the Mississippi River, but did not 
survey the intervening distance. The total length of the line thus far 
surveyed was as follows: Bryd's line, 241 miles; Fry and Jefferson's 
line, 88 miles; Walker's line — ^from Steep Rock Creek to Deer Fork — 
123| miles, unsurveyed line (estimated) 109 miles; from the east to the 
west crossing of the Cumberland, 131 miles ; and from the Cumberland 
to the Tennessee River, 9^ miles; total distance from the Atlantic Ocean 
to the Tennesse River, 702 miles. The commissioners were at Deer 
Fork November 22, 1779; at the east crossing of the Cumberland 
February 25, 1780; and at the Tennessee River March 23, following. 

Considerable disorder followed the running of these two lines, as be- 
tween them the authority of neither State was established; the validity 
of process from neither State was acknowledged; entries for lands 
tween the lines were made in both States ; and both States issued grants 
for the said lands. Crimes committed on this disputed territory could 
not be punished, and while no immediate action was taken by the two 
States, yet such a condition of society between them could not be long en- 
dured, especially as by concert of action a remedy could be applied. Upon 
this subject the Governor of Virginia addressed a letter to the Legisla- 
ture of North Carolina, proposing that the line commonly called Walker's 
line be established as the boundary between the States; and that if that 
proposition were not satisfactory, they then would appoint commissioners 
to meet commissioners to be appointed by North Carolina, empowered to 
confer on the propriety of establishing either Walker's or Henderson's 


line, and to report the result of their conference to the Legislatures of 
their respective States. This letter was referred by the Legislature of 
North Carolina to a committee of which Gen. Thomas Person was chair- 
man, at its session commencing November 2, and ending December 22, 
1789. The committee reported through Gen. Person in favor of the pas- 
sage of a law confirming and establishing Walker's line as the boundary be- 
tween the two States. Doubts arising as to the formality and sufficiency 
of this action of the. Legislature, a second report was made by the Cai'olina 
committee on boundaries, of which Gen. Person was again chairman, again 
recommending the confirming of Walker's line as the boundary line. 
This report was read and concurred in December 11, 1790, by both the 
House of Commons and the Senate. Learning of this action on the part 
of North Carolina, the Legislature of Virginia passed an act on the 7th 
of December, 1791, declaring "That the line commonly called and known 
by the name of Walker's line shall be, and the same is hereby declared 
to be the boundary line of this State." Thus the boundary line, which 
had so long been in controversy, was regarded by both States as being 
finally settled. 

With reference to the direction of the line run by Mr. Walker and 
Mr. Smith it may here be stated that in consequence of failure to make 
due allowance for the variation of the needle, this line continuously de- 
flected toward the north. This deflection was caused either by the im- 
perfection of their instruments or by the failure of the commissioners to 
test their work by a sufficient number of observations. Upon reaching 
the Tennessee River Walker's line was more than twelve miles too far 
north in a direct line, being near latitude thirty-six degrees and forty 
minutes, and where it first touched the State of Tennessee it was near 
latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty-four minutes. 

With respect to the date of the first resolution confirming Walker's 
line, it should here be noted that it was adopted practically on the 2d 
of November, 1789, as under the law of North Carolina all acts related 
to the first day of the session, and the act ceding the Western Terri- 
tory to the United States was passed at the same session of the Legisla- 
ture, and thus, therefore, on the same day. The deed executed to Con- 
gress, in pursuance of the cession act, was dated February 25, 1790, and 
was accepted April 2, 1790. The second resolution confirmatory of 
Walker's line was passed December 11, 1790. 

In 1792 William Blount, territorial governor of Tennessee, insisted 
that the first resolution of the Carolina Legislature, referred to above, 
was not a legal confirmation of Walker's line, and that the second reso- 
lution adopted December 11, 1790, having been passed many months 


after the acceptance by Congress of the cession of the Western Terri- 
tory, was invalid as to the United States, of which Tennessee was then 
a Territory. Gov. Blount also urged that for ten years previous to the 
cession North Carolina had exercised jurisdiction to Henderson's line, 
and announced his intention of maintaining that jurisdiction. A proc- 
lamation was issued by Gov. Blount asserting jurisdiction to Hender- 
son's line, and a counter proclamation was issued by Gov. Lee, of Vir- 
ginia, asserting jurisdiction to Walker's line. Matters remained in this 
rather hostile shape until 1801, when a joint commission was appointed 
to determine the true boundary line. 

The Legislature of Tennessee passed an act appointing Moses Fisk, 
Gen. John Sevier and Gen. George Rutledge her commissioners to meet 
commissioners appointed by Virginia to take the latitude and run the 
line. Virginia appointed Joseph Martin, Creed Taylor and Peter John- 
son. This commission met at Cumberland Gap December 18, 1802, and 
failing to agree in the result of their astronomical observations, entered 
into an agreement, which they reduced to writing, signed and sealed, 
and ran the line in accordance therewith parallel to the two lines in 
dispute and about midway between them, and about one mile from each. 
The agreement of the commissioners and the certificate of the surveyors 
who ran the line are as follows: 

The commissioners for ascertaining and adjusting the boundary line between the two 
States of Virginia and Tennessee, appointed pursuant to the public authority on the part 
of each, have met at the place previously appointed for the purpose, and not uniting from 
the general result of their astronomical observations to establish either of the former lines 
called Walker's or Henderson's, unanimously agree, in order to end the controversy 
respecting the subject, to run a due west line equally distant from both, beginning on the 
summit of the mountain generally known by the name of White Top Mountain, where 
the northwest corner of Tennessee terminates, to the top of the Cumberland Mountain, 
where the southwestern corner of Virginia terminates, which is declared hereby to be the 
true boundary line between the two Stales, and has been accordingly run by Brice Martin 
and Nathan B. Marklaud, the surveyors duly appointed for the purpose, and marked 
under the direction of the said commissioners, as will more at large appear by the report 
of the said surveyors hereto annexed, and bearing date herewith. The commissioners 
do, therefore, unanimously agree to recommend to their respective Stales that individuals 
having claims or titles to lands on either side of the said line as now affixed and agreed 
upon and between the lines aforesaid, shall not in consequence thereof in any wise be 
prejudiced or affected thereby, and that the Legislatures of their respective States should 
pass mutual laws to render all such claims or titles secure to the owners thereof. 

Given under our hands and seals at William Robertson's, near Cumberland Gap, the 
8th day of December, 1802. 

The certificate of the surveyors that they had run the line as above 
described was dated on the same day, and signed by both. This agree- 
ment and the line run in accordance therewith were confirmed by the 
Legislatures of both States, by Tennessee November 3, 1803, and by 


Virginia in the same year, and the boundary between Virginia and Ten- 
nessee was thus finally established by a compromise. Although subse- 
quent negotiations have occurred, no change has been made, but in 1859 
the line was re-marked by Samuel Milligan and George E. McClellan, 
commissioners for Tennessee, and Leonidas Bangui and James C. Black, 
commissioners for Virginia. 

While this compromise line midway between Walker's and Hender- 
son's lines became the established boundary between Tennessee and Vir- 
ginia, the boundary between Tennessee and Kentucky was Walker's line. 
In the first Carolina resolution confirming the Walker line, the foUow- 
iusr lanoruasre was used: "Mr. Walker and the other commissioners from 
Virginia extended the line to the Tennessee River and marked its termi- 
nation on the Mississippi from observations, leaving the line from the 
Tennessee to that place unsurveyed." The second resolution reafiirmed 
the first, and the Legislatures of both States ratified the action of the 
commissioners, thus clearly extending the line to the Mississippi River. 
But the action of Tennessee under Gov. Blount, above explained, repudi- 
ating the Carolina and Virginia compact, was seized upon by Kentucky 
in later years to reopen the boundary question as between her and Ten- 
nessee. As stated above Kentucky discovered that Walker's line was 
several miles north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes ; the parallel 
upon wdiich it was designed to be run, and was desirous of readjusting the 
boundary on that parallel. The logic of her argument in favor of this 
was irresistible: "Since by your own showing the confirmation of Walk- 
er's line by Virginia and North Carolina is invalid as to us, then we have 
no dividing line except the imaginary one of thirty-six degrees and thirty 
minutes. Let us move down south and locate it." 

In 1813 Kentucky passed an act in the preamble to which she inti- 
mates her impatience at the continuance of the struggle, and her deter- 
mination to find some effectual means of settling it: "Whereas Tennes- 
see proposes to depart from the true line of separation * * * 
to be ascertained by correct and scientific observations, etc., the disa- 
greeable necessity is imposed upon Kentucky of having the long-con- 
tested question finally settled by the means pointed out by the Constitu- 
tion of the United States." The next step taken by Tennessee was No- 
vember 17, 1815, when an act was passed to which the following is the 
preamble : 

Whekeas, Some difficulty has existed between the State of Kentucky and this State, 
and whereas it is essential to the harmony and interest of both States that the line com- 
monly called Walker's line heretofore considered and acted on as the boundary between 
them sliould be established as the boundary between the two States, therefore be it en- 


acted that tlie line commonly called Walker's line be, and the same is hereby established 
and confirmed as the true boundary between the States of Kentucky and Tennessee." 

Sec. 5. Be it enacted that if the Legislature of Kentucky shall refuse to pass such 
an act as the above, then this act shall cease to be in force, etc. 

In response to this proposition on the part of Tennessee, Kentucky 
passed an act on the 10th of February, 181(3, in which she declines to 
accept the line proposed, but offers to adopt "Walker's line so far as it 
was originally run and marked, to wit: From a point near the mouth of 
Obed's, alias Obey's River to the Tennessee River, as the true jurisdictional 
line between this State and the State of Tennessee, and as to the residue of 
the line between the two States, the following shall be adopted as the true 
position thereof: At the eastern extremity of Walker's line near the mouth 
of Obed's River aforesaid, a line shall be run at right angles either 
north or south, as the case may require, till it reaches the true chartered 
limits of the two States in the latitude of thii'ty-sis degrees and thirty 
minutes north, and from that point the line shall be extended to the 
east, still keeping the same latitude till it reaches the eastern boundary 
of this State; and at the west extremity of Walker's line, to wit, the Ten- 
nessee River, a line shall be extended up or down the said river as the 
case may require till it reaches the true chartered latitude thirty-six de- 
grees and thirty minutes north, and from that point the line shall be ex- 
tended due west, still keeping the same latitude till it reaches the Missis- 
sippi River." 

Had "this proposition been accepted by Tennesseie about 180 miles 
of the boundary line would have been placed on the "' chartered latitude," 
thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes ; but Tennessee could be satisfied 
with nothing short of Walker's line, or at least with very little less than 
that line as her northern boundary, and in order to show her insistence 
on that line passed an act, after reciting the customary preamble, "that 
the line commonly called Walker's line, so far as the same has been run 
and marked, shall be considered and taken to be the true line between 
the States." 

Sec. 2. That as soon as the State of Kentucky shall pass a law agreeing thereto, a 
direct line from the eastern extremity of the line called Walker's line, as marked at Cum- 
berland River, to Walker's line at a place called Cumberland Gap, shall be considered 
and taken the true line between the States. 

Sec. 3. That this State will, provided the State of Kentucky agree thereto, apply to 
the Executive of the United States to appoint a commissioner to ascertain the true point 
where the boundary line between this State and the State of Kentucky will strike the Ten- 
nessee River on the western bank thereof, and that from that point a line shall be run di- 
rectly west to the western boundary of the State of Tennessee, which shall be the line 
bounding the two States. 

This persistence on the part of Tennessee in affirming what she con- 


sidered to be her riglit, considerably nettled her sister State, who re- 
plied to this proposal on January 30, 1818, by the following "spicy en- 

Be it enacted that all laws heretofore passed by the General Assembly of this com- 
monwealth relative to the boundary line between this State and Tennessee shall be, and 
the same are hereby repealed. 

Sec. 2. That the southern boundary line of this State shall be and remain on a 
line running west from the top of Cumberland Mountain to the Mississippi River in 36° 
30' north latitude, anything in any former law passed by this State to the contrary not- 

In pursuance of this enactment Kentucky, in 1819, sent her surveyors 
Alexander and Munsell to run and mark the line on thirty-six degrees 
and thirty minutes between the Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers, and 
declared this to be the true boundary. This line struck the Tennessee 
River about twelve miles in a direct line south of Walker's line, and if 
it had been continued on eastward it would have passed about two miles 
to the south of Clarksville. It was now evident to Tennessee that her 
territorial integrity was in danger, and that decided steps must be taken 
if she would not lose to a large extent in property and population. She 
realized her own illogical position in claiming jurisdiction to a line the 
validity of which as a boundary she had solemnly repudiated. She could 
not rest quietly in possession, for she plainly saw that Kentucky intended 
to have the boundary question settled, and to extend her southern line 
down to the "chartered limits" of the State, thirty-six degrees and thirty 
minutes; the latitude in which Walker's line was supposed to be run. 
It was necessary to find some plea by which she could still plavisibly 
maintain her right to Walker's line as actually run as her northern 
boundary. This plea was supplied by Gov. Joseph McMinn in his mes- 
sage of October 6, 1819, and it was the only plea which Tennessee could 
bring to her aid, the desire of the people residing on the belt of territory 
between the ."chartered limits," and Walker's line, to remain under the 
jurisdiction of Tennessee. He admitted that Alexander & Munsell' s line, 
if it were in fact in latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes, should 
be allowed to stand. The necessity of this comjjromise was forced upon 
Tennessee by her being estopped from pleading the confirming of 
Walker's line by the Virginia and Carolina compact which under Gov. 
William Blount she had repudiated. 

The Legislature of Tennessee having thus failed to establish her 
claim by enactments determined to send commissioners to the Kentucky 
Legislature and try the efficacy of a joint commission. Kentucky though 
opposed to that method of settling the question, was at length persuaded 
by Tennessee's commissioners. Felix Grundy and William L. Brown, to 


appoint a commission, selecting John J. Crittenden and Robert Trimble. 
Notwithstanding the fact that Kentucky's argument as to abstract title 
was Unanswerable, yet the Tennessee commissioners successfully urged 
actual possession, and the desires of the people, together with the multi- 
tude of hardships that must necessarily result from a change, and offered 
to permit all the lines to remain as then located including Alexander & 
Munsell's line. The compromise was accepted by Kentucky, and effected 
February 2, 1820. According to this compromise the boundary line was 
to be Walker's line to the Tennessee RiA'er; thence uj) and with said 
river to Alexander & Munsell's line; thence with said line to the Missis- 
sippi River — the treaty to be valid when ratified by the Legislature of 
Kentucky. Thus the main points were finally settled, but still for some 
years numerous inconveniences continued to develop from the loss of 
some of the landmarks of Walkers line, the uncertainty regarding others, 
and the unsurveyed gap, between Deer Fork and the Cumberland River. 
In 1821, this gap unsurveyed by Walker, was surveyed by a joint com- 
mission consisting of William Steele, on the part of Kentucky, and Ab- 
salom Looney, on the part of Tennessee, and they extended their survey 
from the east crossing of Cumberland River to Cumberland Gap. On 
November 13, 1821, Tennessee passed an act confirming this survey as 
far as it extended, including in the act a minute description of the survey, 
and on the 22d of the same month Kentucky confirmed this line. 

In 1831 James Bright, commissioner for Tennessee, and Dr. Mun- 
sell. commissioner for Kentucky, ran and marked Walker's line along 
the southern borders of Allen, Simpson and Trigg Counties straight from 
the point near the west crossing of the Cumberland River to the Tenn- 
essee. This survey, if adopted, would have thrown into Kentucky a strip 
of land about a mile wide which is now a portion of Tennessee. 

In 1815 Gov. James C. Jones appointed, as commissioners on the 
part of Tennessee, C. W. Nance and William P. McLain, who met Messrs. 
Wilson and Duncan, commissioners from Kentucky, in October of that 
year, and marked a line along the borders of Trigg and Christian Coun- 
ties, and along that portion of Fulton County west of Reelfoot Lake. 
These different lines were all readjusted in 1859, by a joint commission 
consisting of Benjamin Peeples and O. R. Watkins, commissioners ; O. H. 
P. Bennett, engineer; J. Trafton, L. Burnett, assistant engineers, and J. 
M. Nicholson, surveyor, on the part of Tennessee ; and Austin P. Cox and 
C. M. Driggs, commissioners; J. Pillsburg, engineer; G. Trafton, G. 
Stealey and A. Hensly, assistant engineers, on the part of Kentucky. 
They met at a place called Compromise, on the Mississippi River, and 
having improved instruments made an accurate and satisfactory survey, 


placing the stones as required and marking the line on permanent trees 
with four chops toward the east and toward the west. 

From Compromise, in latitude thirty-six degrees, twenty-nine minutes 
and fifty -five and seven hundredths seconds, they followed very nearly 
along Alexander and Munsell's line to the Tennessee, in latitude thirty- 
sis degrees, twenty-nine minutes and fifty-four seconds. Thence they 
ran down the Tennessee to Walker's line, which is very nearly in latitude 
thirty-six degrees, forty minutes and forty-five seconds, and from this 
point they followed Walker's line to the southeastern corner of Kentucky, 
latitude thirty-six degrees, thirty-four minutes and fifty-three and forty- 
eight hundredths seconds. From this point they ran to the southwest 
corner of Virginia in latitude thirty six degrees, thirty-six minutes and 
ninety-two hundredths seconds. This survey cost Tennessee $25,357, 
and Kentucky |22,630.07. The stone posts cost $1,265. Kentucky ap- 
proved the acts of this joint commission February 28, 1860, and Ten- 
nessee March 21, 1S60. 

Thus after a protracted, and in many instances a vexatious contro- 
versy, lasting from 1792 to 1860, Tennessee finally established her title, 
if not her right, to that strip of territory extending from White Top 
Mountain to the Tennessee Eiver. That portion adjoining Virginia is 
about 110 miles long, and averages about seven miles in width, while 
that adjoining Kentucky is about 245 miles long, and about five and 
three-quarters miles wide at its eastern extremity, gradually increasing 
in width until it reaches the Tennessee, where it is about twelve and one- 
half miles wide. 

For this acquisition she is indebted first to the failure of the Virginia 
and Carolina commissioners to make due allowance for the variation of 
the needle; second, to the fidelity and ability of her public servants; 
third, to the preference of the people along the border to remain within 
her jurisdiction, and fourth, to the liberality of Kentucky and Virginia, 
which led them to respect the preferences of the people. And for the 
loss of the strip west of the Tennessee and between the "chartered limits" 
and Walker's line, she is indebted to the repudiation by Gov. Blount, 
of the Virginia and Carolina compact. And yet, although this struggle 
which lasted so long and had attracted so much attention, was settled 
thus in 1860, her constitution of 1870 adheres to the old imaginary lines, 
and describes her northern boundary as thirty-six degrees and thirty 
minutes, but this careless description is well guarded by the following 
clause: "Provided that the limits and jurisdiction of this State shall ex- 
tend to any other laud an<l territory now acquired by compact or agree- 
ment with other States or otherwise, although such land and territory 
are not included within the boundaries hereinbefore designated." 


The liistoiy of the southern boundary line of this State is not of such 
absorbing interest, nor fortunately so long as that above detailed. 
Quoting again from the Declaration of Rights: "That line and that only 
should be esteemed the southern boundary of this State (North Carolina) 
as follows, that is to say : Beginning on the sea-side at a cedar stake at or 
near the mouth of Little Eiver, being the southern extremity of Bruns- 
wick County and runs thence a northwest course through the Boundary 
House, which stands in thirty-three degrees and fifty-six minutes, to 
thirty-five degrees north latitude, and from thence a west course, so far 
as is mentioned in the charter of King Charles II to the late ^proprietors 
of Carolina." This declaration was adopted in December, 1776, and 
shows that the parallel of thirty-five degrees north latitude was consid- 
ered as the established southern boundary line of North Carolina 
westward from the point where the line "running a northwest course 
through the Boundary House" if extended would intersect that parallel. 
To establish the line between North and South Carolina, commissioners 
were appointed by both these colonies in 1737. Those of the former 
colony were Robert Hilton, Matthew Rowan and Edward Mosely. 
They began at the cedar stake on the sea shore by the mouth of Little 
River, and ran the line until they arrived at the thirty-fifth degree. At 
the termination of the northwest line they erected a light wood stake 
upon a mound. The line was continued by private parties twenty miles, 
and in 1764 was still further extended. 

In 1818 the boundary between Tennessee and Georgia was estab- 
lished. The commissioners appointed Joseph Cobb surveyor, and two 
chain carriers and two markers. These parties arrived at Ross' in the 
Cherokee nation on the 15th of May. From Ross', which was on the 
Tennessee River, they proceeded to Nickajack, where on the next day 
they met the commissioners and surveyor a,j)pointed by Georgia. The 
joint commission decided that the thirty-fifth degree of north latitude 
was one mile and twenty-eight poles, fi'om the south bank of the Tennes- 
see, due south from near the center of the town of Nickajack. This point 
was supposed by them to be the corner of the States of Georgia and Ala- 
bama. At this point they caused a rock to be erected, two feet high, four 
inches thick and fifteen inches broad, engraved on the north side "June 
1, 1818, Var. six degrees and forty-five minutes east," and on the south side 
"Geo. Lat. thirty-five degrees north, J, Car mack." From this rock they 
ran the line due east to the top of the Unaka, Mountains, where they 
closed their survey with a variation of the compass of five degrees and 
thirty minutes; the length of the line surveyed being nearly 110 miles. 
The line west of Nickajack was extended in part by Gen. Coffee and the 


residue by Gen. Winchester. The boundary line between Tennessee and 
Mississippi was also run by John Thompson, and his line was adopted 
by Tennessee as the southern boundary, but Mississippi failed to adopt 
it. The question was finally settled by Tennessee November 9, 1837, 
and by Mississippi February 8, 1838, on which dates the two States, 
resj)ectively, ratified the proceedings of a joint commission to run the 
true boundary line. The history of the running of the line is sufficiently 
shown in the language of the act by the Tennessee Legislature above re- 
ferred to as follows: 

Whereas the State of Tennessee believing the southern boundary line of the State 
dividing Tennessee from Mississippi was not correctly run by the commissioners in 1819, 
with the thirty-fifth parallel of north latitude; and whereas the State of Tennessee, by an 
act passed November 29, 1833, did establish what is known as Thompson's line as the 
southern boundary of the State, which act did not receive the sanction of the State of 
Mississippi; and whereas the authorities of Tennessee and Mississippi having recently by 
commissioners on the part of the two States, run and marked another line wliich is agreed 
upon providing they ratify the same, which line is described in the commissioners' report 
as follows- Commencing at a point on the west bank of the Tennessee River, sixty-four 
chains south or above the mouth of Yellow Creek and about three-fourths of a mile north 
of the line known as Thompson's line, and twenty-six chains and ten links north of 
Thompson's line at the basis meridian of the Chickasaw surveys, and terminating at a 
point in the east bank of the Mississippi River, opposite Cow Island, sixteen chains north 
of Thompson's line; therefore 

Be it enacted, etc., That the line as run and marked between this State and Mississippi 
by B. A. Ludlow,D. W. Connely and W. Petrie (commissioners on the part of Mississippi), 
and John D. Graham and Austin Miller (commissioners on the part of Tennessee) be and 
the same is hereby declared to be the true southern boundary of the State of Tennessee, 
being 35° north latitude, and that the jurisdiction of the State be extended to that line 
in as full and ample a manner as the same was extended to the line run by Winchester. 

The eastern boundary line, or that between Tennessee and North Car- 
olina, was finally established by an act passed by the Legislature of the 
former State during the session commencing November 19, 1821, the 
lancfuasre of the act running somewliat as follows: That the dividing line 
run and marked by Alexander Smith, Isaac Allen and Simeon Perry, com- 
missioners on the part of Tennessee, and James Mebane, Montford Stokes 
and Robert Love, commissioners from North Carolina, which line begins 
at a stone set up on the north side of the Cataloochee Turnpike Road, 
' and marked on the west side " Tenn. 1821," and on the east side " N. C. 
1821," and running along the summit of the Great Smoky Mountains, 
etc., etc., and striking the southern boundary line twenty-three poles 
west of a tree in said line marked " 72 M," where was set up by said 
commissioners a square post, marked on the west side "Tenn. 1821," and 
on the east side " N. C. 1821" and on the south side "G." be and the 
same is hereby ratified, confirmed and established as the true boundary 
line between this State and North Carolina. This line was confirmed by 


the Legislature ol: North Carolina during the session commencing No- 
vember 19, 1821. 


The settlers on the Watauga and Holston, though very near the 
boundaries of Virginia and North Carolina, and though most of them 
were emigrants from the latter State, were living without the protection 
of the laws of either. Being thus without regular government, it was 
necessary for them to adopt for themselves rules for their own guidance. 
These rules were adopted in 1772, and are believed to have constituted 
the first written compact of government west of the mountains. The 
government was simple and moderate, paternal and patriarchal, summary 
and firm. The settlers elected as commissioners thirteen citizens, as fol- 
lows: John Carter, Charles Robertson, James Robertson, Zachariah Is- 
bell, John Sevier, James Smith, Jacob Brown, AVilliam Bean, John 
Jones, George Russell, Jacob "VVomack, Robert Lucas and "William 
Tatham. Of these thirteen commissioners five were appointed as a 
court, by whom all matters in controversy were settled, and the same tri- 
bunal had entire control of everything pertaining to the public good. 
This court was composed, it is believed, of the following persons: John 
Carter, Charles Robertson, James Robertson, Zachariah Isbell and 
John Sevier, with William Tatham as clerk. For a number of years this 
form of government performed its functions with success and satisfaction 
to the people. But at length dissensions arose, and the result of these 
various views and desires of the people was the establishment of the State 
of Franklin, as detailed later in this chapter. 

After the establishment of the Watauga Association, the* Govern- 
ment of the Notables was the next in the order of time. This was on 
the banks of the Cumberland, as that was on the banks of the Watausra. 
It grew up from the necessities of the people, far removed from any pro- 
tecting government. Robertson's principal colony arrived at the French 
Lick about January 1, 1780 — Putnam says December 25, 1779. John 
Donelson's party arrived April 24, 1780, and on May 1 following, the 
compact of government or articles of agreement were entered into by 
the settlers on the Cumberland. It was stated in the chapter on the set- 
tlement of the territory, that in the vicinity of the French Lick there 
were eight stations, and when the government came to be established, 
each station was entitled to representatives in the " Tribunal of Nota- 
bles" as follows: 

Nashborough (at Nashville) 3 

Mansker's (Casper Mansker's Lick) 2 

Bledsoe's (now Castilian Springs) 1 


Asher's (Station Camp Creek) 1 

Freeland's (at Dr. McGavock's or Horticultural Garden) 1 

Eaton's (now Brooklyn) 3 

Fort Union (where Haj'sl)orougli was) 1 

Stone's River (west of the Hermitage) 1 

These representatives, or a majority of them, after being bound by 
the solemnity of an oath to do equal and impartial justice between all 
contending parties, were empowered and made competent to settle all 
controversies relative to location and improvements of lands; all other 
matters and questions of dispute among the settlers; protecting the rea- 
sonable claims of those who may have returned for their families; pro- 
viding implements of husbandry and food for such as might arrive with- 
out such necessaries ; making especial provisions for widows and orphans 
whose husbands or fathers may die or be killed by the Indians ; guaran- 
teeing equal rights, mutual protection and impartial justice; pledging 
themselves most solemnly and sacredly to promote the peace, happiness 
and well being of the community, to suppress vice and punish crime. 

In this compact one of the principal elements of popular government was 
expressly set forth, viz. : the right of the people at the various stations to 
remove their representative or judge, or other officers, for misconduct or 
unfaithfulness in the discharge of their duties, and to elect others to fill 
the vacancies. "This tribunal exercised the prerogatives of government 
to their fullest extent, with the exception of the infliction of capital pun- 
ishment. They called out the militia of the stations to 'repel or pursue 
the enemy;' impressed horses for such service as the public exigency 
might demand ; levied fines, payable in money or provisions ; adjudicated 
causes; fintered up judgments and awarded executions; granted letters of 
administration upon estates of deceased persons, taking bonds 'payable to 
Col. James Robertson, chairman of committee,' " etc. 

Following are the articles of agreement, or compact of government, 
entered into by the settlers on the Cumberland River May 1, 1780. The 
first page is lost and the second torn and defaced, but there can be read 
distinctly as follows, supplying in brackets lost words: 

* * property of right shall be determined as soon [as] conveniently may be in 
the following manner: The free men of this country over the age [of twenty] one years 
shall immediately, or as soon as may [be convenient], proceed to elect or choose twelve con- 
scientious and [deserving] persons from or out of the different sections, that is [to] say: 
From Nashborough, three; Mansker's.two; Bledsoe's, one; Asher's, one; Stone's River, one; 
Freeland's, one; Eaton's, two; Foj^t Union, one. Which said persons, or a majority of 
them, after being bound by the solemnity of an oath, to do equal and impartial justice be- 
tween all contending parties, according to their best skill and judgment, having due regard 
to the regulations of the land office herein established, shall be competent judges of the 
matter, and * * hearing the allegations of both parties and [their] witnesses as to 
the facts alleged or otherwise * * as to the truth of the case, shall have [power] to 


decide controversies, and determine who is of right entitled to an entry for such land so in 
dispute, when said determination or decision shall be forever binding against the future 
claim of the party against whom such judgment [shall be rendered]. And the entry taker 
shall make a [record thereof] in his book accordingly, and the entry * * tending 
party so cast shall be * * * if it had never been made, and the land in dispute 

* * * to the person in whose favor such judgment shall * * * * in case 
of the death, removal, or absence of any of the judges so to be chosen, or their refusing to 
act, the station to which such person or persons belong, or was chosen from, shall proceed 
to elect another, or others, in his or their stead, which person, or persons, so chosen, after 
being sworn, as aforesaid, to do equal and impartial justice, shall have full power and au- 
thority to proceed to business, and act in all disputes respecting the premises as if they 
had been oi'iginally chosen at the first election. 

That the entry book shall be kept fair and open by * * person * * to be 
appointed by said Richard Henderson * * * chose, and every entry for land num- 
bered and dated, and * * * order without leaving any blank leaves or spaces 

* * * to the inspection of the said twelve judges, or * * of them at all times. 
That many persons have come to this country without implements of husbandry, and 

from other circumstances are obliged to return without making a crop, and [intend] re? 
moving out this fall, or early next spring, and it * * reason * * such should 
have the pre-emption * * * of sucli places as they may have chosen. * * the 
purpose of residence, therefore it is * * * be taken for all such, for as much 
land as they are entitled to from their head-rights, which said lands shall be reserved for 
the particular person in whose name they shall be entered, or their heirs, provided such 
persons shall remove to this country and take possession of the respective place or piece of 
land so chosen or entered, or shall send a laborer, or laborers, and a white person in his or 
her stead to perform the same, on or before the first day of May, in the year one thousand 
seven hundred and eighty-one; and also provided such land so chosen and entered for is 
not entered and claimed by some person who is an inhabitant, and shall raise a crop of 
corn the present year at some station or place convenient to the general settlement in this 
country. But it is fully to be understood that those who are actually at this time inhab- 
itants of this country shall not be debarred of their choice or claim on account of the right 
of any such absent or returning person or persons. It is further proposed and agreed that 
no claim or title to any lands whatsoever shall be set up by any person in consequence of 
any mark or former improvement, imless the same be entered with the entry taker within 
twenty daj's from the date of this association and agreement; and that when any person 
hereafter shall mark or improve land or lands for himself, such mark or improvement shall 
not avail him or be deemed an evidence of prior right, unless the same be entered with the 
entry taker in thirty days * * from the time of such mark or improvement, but no 
other person shall be entitled to such lands so as aforesaid to be reserved * * conse- 
quence of any purchase gift, or otherwise. 

That if the entry taker to be appointed shall neglect or refuse to perform his duty, 
or be found by said judges, or a majority of them, to have acted fraudulently, to the prej- 
udice of any person whatsoever, such entry taker shall be immediately removed from his 
office, and the book taken out of his possession b}' the said judges, until another be ap- 
pointed to act in his room. 

That as often as the people in general are dissatisfied with the doings of the judges 
or triers so to be chosen, they may call a new election at any of the said stations and eleqt 
others in their stead, having due respect to the number now to be elected at each station, 
which persons so to be chosen shall have the same power with those in whose room or 
place they shall or may be chosen to act. 

That as no consideration money for the lands on Cumberland River, within the 
claim of the said Richard Henderson and Company, and which is the subject of this asso- 
ciation, is demanded or expected by the said company, until a satisfactory and indisputa- 
ble title can be made, so we think it reasonable and just that the £36, 13s. 4d. current 
money per hundred acres, the price proposed by the said Richard Henderson, shall be 


paid according to the value of money on tlie first day of January last, being the time 
when the price was made public, and settlement encouraged thereon by said Henderson, 
and the said Richard Henderson on his part does liereby agree that in case of the rise or 
appreciation of money from that * * * an abatement shall be made in the 
sum according to its raised or appreciated value. 

That where any person shall remove to this country with intent to become an in- 
habitant and depart this life, either by violence or in the natural way, before he shall 
have performed the requisites necessary to obtain lands, the child or children of such de- 
ceased person shall be entitled, in his or her room, to such quantity of land as such person 
would have been entitled to in case he or she had lived to obtain a grant in their own 
name; and if such death be occasioned by the Indians the said Henderson doth promise 
and agree that the child or children shall have as much as amounts to their head-rights 
gratis, surveyor's and other incidental fees excepted. 

And Whereas, from our remote situation and want of proper offices for the admin- 
istration of justice, no regular proceedings at law can be had for the punishment of of- 
fenses and attainment of right, it is therefore agreed that until we can be relieved by 
Government from the many evils and inconveniences arising therefrom, the judges or 
triers to be appointed as before directed when qualified shall be and are hereby declared 
a proper court or jurisdiction for the recovery of any debt or damages; or where the cause 
of action or complaint has arisen, or hereafter shall commence for anything done or to be 
done among ourselves, within this our settlement on Cumberland aforesaid, or in our pas- 
sage hither, where the laws of our country could not be executed, or damages repaired in any 
other way; that is to say, in all cases where the debt or damages or demand docs or shall 
not exceed one hundred dollars, any three of the said judges or triers shall be competent to 
make a court, andfinally decide the matter in controvers}'; butif for a larger sum, and either 
party shall be dissatisfied with the judgment or decision of such court, they may have an 
appeal to the whole twelve judges or triers, in which case nine members shall be deemed 
a full court, whose decision, if seven agree in one opinion, the matter in dispute shall be 
final, and their judgment carried into execution in such ,manner, and by such person or 
persons as they may appoint, and the said courts, respectively, shall have full power to 
tax such costs as they may think just and reasonable, to be levied and collected with the 
debt or damages so to be awarded. , 

And it is further agreed that a majority of said judges, or triers, or general arbitra- 
tors shall have power to punish in their discretion, having respect to the laws of our coun- 
try, all offenses against the peace, misdemeanors, and those criminal or of a capital nature 
provided such court does not proceed with execution so far as to affect life or member; 
and in case any should be brought before them whose crime is or shall be dangerous to 
the State, or for which the benefit of clergy is taken away by law, and sufficient evidence 
or proof of the fact or facts can probably be made, such courts, or a majority of the mem- 
bers, shall and may order and direct him, her, or them to be safely bound and sent under 
a strong guard to the place where the offense was or shall be committed, or where legal 
trial of such offense can be had, which shall accordingly be done, and the reasonable ex- 
pense attending the discharge of this duty ascertained by the court, and paid by the in- 
habitants in such proportion as shall be hereafter agreed on for that purpose. 

That as this settlement is in its infancy, unknown to government, and not included 
in any county within North Carolina, the State to which it belongs, so as to derive the 
advantages of those wholesome and salutary laws for the protection and benefits of its cit- 
izens, we find ourselves constrained from necessity to adopt this temporary method of 
restraining the licentious, and supplying, by unanimous consent, the blessings flowing 
from a just and equitable government, declaring and promising that no action or com- 
plaint shall be hereafter instituted or lodged in any court of record within this State or 
elsewhere, for anything done or to be done in consequence of the proceedings of the said 
judges or general arbitrators so to be chosen and established by this our association. 

That the well-being of this country entirely depends, under Divine Providence, on 
unanimity of sentiment and concurrence in measures, and as clashing interests and opin- 


ions without being under some restraint will most certainly produce confusion, discord 
and almost certain ruin, so we think it our duty to associate and hereby form ourselves 
into one society for the benefit of present and future settlers, and until the full and proper 
exercise of the laws of our country can be in use, and the powers of government exerted 
among us, we do solemnly and sacredly declare and promise each other that we will faith- 
fully and punctually adhere to, perform and abide by this our association, and at all times, 
if need be, compel by our united force a due obedience to these our rules and regulations. 
In testimony whereof wo have hereunto subscribed our names, in token of our entire 
approbation of the measures adopted. 

The following additional resolutions were adopted and entered into at 
Nashborough, May 31, 1780: 

That all j^oung men over the age of sixteen years, and able to perform militia duty, 
shall be considered as having a full right to enter for and obtain lands in their own names 
as if they were of full age; and in that case not be reckoned in the family of his father, 
mother or master so as to avail them of any land on their account. 

That when any person shall mark or improve land or Jands, with intent to set up a 
claim thereto, such person shall write or mark in legible characters the initial letters of 
his name at least, together with the day of the month and year an which he marked or 
improved the same at the spring or most notorious part of the land, on some convenient 
tree or other durable substance, in order to notify his intention to all such as may inquire 
or examine; and in case of dispute with respect to priority of right, proof of such trans- 
action shall be made by the oath of some indifferent witness, or no advantage or benefit 
shall be derived from such mark or improvement; and in all cases where priority of mark 
or occupancy cannot be ascertained according to the regulations and prescriptions herein 
proposed and agreed to, the oldest or first entry in the office to be opened in consequence 
of this association shall have the preference, and the lands granted accordingly. 

It is further proposed and agreed that the entry office shall be opened at Nash- 
borough on Friday, the 19th of May, instant, and kept from thenceforward at the same 
place unless otherwise directed by any future convention of the people in general or their 

That the entry taker shall and may demand and receive twelve dollars for each entry 
to be made in his book, in manner before directed, and shall give a certificate thereof if 
required; and also may take the same fee for every caveat or counter-claim to any lands 
before entered; and in all cases where a caveat is to be tried in manner before directed, 
the entry book shall be laid before the said committee of judges, triers, or general arbi- 
trators, for their inspection and information, and their judgment upon the matter in dis- 
pute fairly entered as before directed; which said court or committee is also to keep a 
fair and distinct journal or minutes of all their proceedings, as well with respect to lands 
as other matters which may come before them in consequence of these our resolutions. 

It is also firmly agreed and resolved that no person shall be admitted to make an entry 
for any lands with the said entry taker, or permitted to hold the same, unless such person 
shall subscribe his name and conform to this our Association, Confederacy and General 
Government, unless it be for persons who have returned home, and are permitted to have 
lands reserved for their use until the first day of May next, in which case entries may be 
made for such absent persons according to the true meaning of this writing, without their 
personal presence, but shall become utterly void if the particular person or persons for 
whom such entry shall be made should refuse or neglect to perform the same as soon as 
conveniently may be after their return, and before the said first day of May, 1781. 

Whereas, The frequent and dangerous incursions of the Indians and almost daily mas- 
sacre of some of our inhabitants renders it absolutely necessary for our safety and defense 
that due obedience be paid to our respective officers elected and to be elected at the sev- 
eral stations or settlements to take command of the men or militia at such fort or station. 

It is further agreed and resolved that when it shall be adjudged necessary and expe 
dient by such commanding officer to draw out the militia of any fort or station to pursue 


or repulse the enemy, the said officer shall have power to call out such and so many of his 
men as he may judge necessary, and in case of disobedience may inflict such fine as he in 
his discretion shall think just and reasonable, and also may impress the horse or horses of 
any person or persons whomsoever, which, if lost or damaged in such service, shall be 
paid for by the inhabitants of such fort or station in such manner and such proportion as 
the Committee hereby appointed, or a majority of them, shall direct and order; but if any 
person shall be aggrieved, or think himself unjustly vexed and injured by the fine or fines 
so imposed bj^his officer or officers, such person may appeal to the said Judges or Com- 
mittee of General Arbitrators, who, or a majority of them, shall have power to examine 
the matter fully and make such order therein as they may think just and reasonable, 
which decision shall be conclusive on the party complaining as well as the officer or officers 
inflicting such fine; and the money arising from such fines shall be carefully applied for 
the benefit of such fort or station in such manner as the said Arbitrators shall hereafter 

It is lastly agreed and firmly resolved that a dutiful and humble address or petition be 
presented by some person or persons to be chosen by the inhabitants, to the General As- 
sembly, giving the fullest assurance of the fidelity and attachment to the interest of our 
country and obedience to the laws and Constitution thereof; setting forth that we are 
confident our settlement; is not within the boundaries of any nation or tribq of Indians, as 
some of us know and all believe that they have fairly sold and received satisfaction for 
the land or territories whereon we reside, and therefore we hope we may not be consid- 
ered as acting against the laws of our country or the mandates of government. 

That we do not desire to be exempt from the ratable share of the public expense of 
the present war, or other contingent charges of government. That we are, from our 
remote situation, utterly destitute of the benefit of the laws of our country, and exposed 
to the depredations of the Indians, without any justifiable or effectual means of embodying 
our militia, or defending ourselves against the hostile attempts of our enemy; praying and 
imploring the immediate aid and protection of government, by erecting a county to in- 
clude our settlements; appointing proper officers for the discharge of public duty; taking 
into consideration our distressed situation with respect to Indians, and granting such relief 
and assistance as in wisdom, justice and humanity may be thought reasonable. 
Nashborough, 13th May, 1780. 

To these articles of agreement 250 persons signed tlieir names, all of 
wliom could write but one, James Patrick, who made his mark. No rec- 
ords of the government of the Notables have been discovered by any his- 
torian, for the reason, doubtless, that few, if any, were made. Putnam 
to whom this, as well as other histories, is largely indebted for its account 
of this government on the Cumberland says on this point: "After the 
organization of the primitive government on May-day, 1780, down to 
January, 1783, we have no records, not even a fugitive scrap or sheet, of 
which that ready clerk, Andrew Ewin, was usually so careful. The peo- 
ple were so greatly exposed and kept in such constant alarm, some leav- 
ing, and many agitating the propriety or possibility of remaining, alll 
admitting that tlieir perils were imminent and were likely so to continue 
for an indefinite period, that we may presume there were no regular 
meetings of the judges and no regular minutes made. * * * 

"Prom our researches we conclude that immediately after the adop- 
tion of the articles, an election was held at the stations, and that then 
Robertson was chosen colonel ; Donelson, lieutenant-colonel; Lucas, major; 



and George Freeland, Mauldin, Bledsoe and Blackmore, captains." 
How long these individuals remained in office, or wliat duties tliey per- 
formed, is not now known. But in 1783 the government was revived, 
as the following extract shows: 

North Carolina, Cumberland River, January 7, 1783 

The manifold sufferings and distresses that the settlers here have from time to time 
undergone, even almost from our first settling, with the desertion of the greater number 
of the first adventurers, being so discouraging to the remaining few that all administration 
of justice seemed to cease from amongst us, which, however weak, whether in con- 
stitution, administration or execution, yet has been construed in our favor against those 
whose malice or interest would insinuate us a people fled to a hiding place from justice, 
and the revival of them again earnestly recommended. It appears highly necessary that 
for the common weal of the whole, the securing of peace, the performance of contracts 
between man and man, together with the suppression of vice, again to revive our former 
manner of proceedings, pursuant to the plan agreed upon at our first settling here, and to 
proceed accordingly until such times as it shall please the Legislature to grant us the sal- 
utary benefits of the law duly administered amongst us by their authority. 

To this end, previous notice having been given to the several stationers to elect 
twelve men of their several stations, whom they thought most proper for the business, and 
being elected, to meet at Nashborough on the 7th day of January, 1783. 

Accordingly there met at the time and place aforesaid Col. James Robertson, Capt- 
George Freeland, Thomas MoUoy, Isaac Lindsey, David Rounsevail, Heydon Wells, -Tames 
Maulding, Ebenezer Titus, Samuel Barton and Andrew Ewin, who constituted themselves 
into a committee, for the purposes aforesaid, by voluntarily taking the following oath: 

I. , do solemnly swear that as a member of the committee, I will do equal right 

and justice, according to the best of my skill and judgment, in the decision of all causes 
that shall be laid before me without fear, favor or partiality. So help me God. 

The committee then proceeded to elect Ool. James Robertson, chair- 
man; John Montgomery, sheriff, and Andrew Ewin, clerk, and to fix the 
clerk's fees. From this time to the organization of Davidson County in 
April, 1783, the committee held meetings as occasion required, accounts 
of which will properly be introduced as a prelude to the history of that 
organization. And in this way the government of the Notables served 
its purpose and came to its end. It was wholly unlike that other anom- 
aly in government, the State of Franklin, in not aspiring to independent 
Statehood, and always looking steadily to North Carolina as the source 
of proper government for the settlers on the Cumberland. Its proceed- 
ings were frequently dated " North Carolina, Cumberland District," and 
a part of the time " Nashborough," and were continued until in August, 
after which the regular authorities of Davidson County, the act for the 
organization of which was approved October 6, 1783, assumed authorita- 
tive control of public affairs. 


The Revolutionary war was over and independence won. The colonies 
and their dependencies were thrown entirely upon their own resources. 



Society was in an unsettled, iu somewliat of a chaotic condition, but it is 
remarkable that there was very little o£ the spirit of insubordination and 
anarchy. The main reason for the universal disposition to maintain 
order was undoubtedly the financial necessities of the various colonial 
governments, as well as those of the Continental Congress. The stabil- 
ity of the individual States and of the General Government depended, in 
large measure, upon the extinguishment of the debts that had been 
created during the war of the Revolution. 

One of the expedients for improving the condition of. things resorted 
to by Congress, was its suggestion to such of the States as owned vacant 
lands to throw them together, establish a joint fund, and with this joint 
fund pay off the common debt. North Carolina owned a large amount 
of territory, extending from the Alleghany Mountains to the Mississippi 
River, and among the measures adopted by her General Assembly was the 
act of June, 1783, ceding to Congress the lands therein described. 
According to this act the authority of North Carolina was to extend over 
this territory until Congress should accept the cession. The members to 
the General Assembly, from the four western counties, Washington, Sulli- 
van, Greene and Davidson, were present and voted for the cession. 

These members perceived a disinclination on the part of the parent State 
to make proper provision for the protection of the people in the western 
province. Accounts were constantly being presented to the General 
Assembly for the defense of the frontier settlements against the Indians. 
These accounts were reluctantly received, cautiously scrutinized and 
grudgingly paid. Crimination and recrimination were mutually indulged 
in by North Carolina and her western counties, and it was even intimated 
that some of these accounts, or portions of some of them, were fabricated 
or invented. The inhabitants of these western counties, whose exposed 
situation seemed not to be appreciated and whose honor seemed thus to 
be impugned, remembering that in the Bill of Rights adopted at the same 
time with the State Constitution, a clause had been inserted authorizing 
the formation of one or more new States out of this western territory, 
and entertaining the impression that Congress would not accept the 
cession of the territory within the two year limit, and feeling that the 
new settlements included within this territory would be practically 
excluded from the protection of both North Carolina and Congress, would 
in fact be left in a state of anarchy, unable to command their own powers 
and resources, knowing that no provision had been made for the estab- 
lishment of superior courts west of the mountains, seeing that violations 
of law were permitted to pass unpunished except by the summary process 
of the regulators appointed for the purpose by the people themselves, 


and perceiving also that the military organization was inadequate to the 
defense of the inhabitants, in part because there was no brigadier-general' 
authorized to call the military forces into active service, with an extensive 
frontier constantly exposed to and suffering from the ravages of the 
savages, and with numerous other considerations suggested to them by 
their anomalously exposed situation, perceived the necessity of themselves 
devising means for the extrication of themselves from the numerous, 
great and unexpected difficulties with which they found themselves sur- 

For the purpose of an attempt at extrication it was projwsed that each 
captain's company elect two representatives, and that these representa- 
tives assemble to deliberate upon the condition of affairs and if possible 
devise some general plan adapted to the emergency. Accordingly these 
representatives met August 23, 1783, in Jonesborough. Following are 
the names of the deputies from Washington County: John Sevier, 
Charles Robertson, William Trimble, William Cox, Landon Carter, Hugh 
Henry, Christopher Taylor, John Christian, Samuel Doak, William 
Campbell, Benjamin Holland, John Beau, Samuel Williams and Eichard 
White. Sullivan County: Joseph Martin, GiHiert^ Christian, William 
Cocke, John Manifee, William Wallace, John Hall, Samuel Wilson, 
Stockley Donelson and William Evans. Greene County: Daniel Ken- 
nedy, Alexander Outlaw, Joseph Gist, Samuel Weir, Asahel Rawlings, 
Joseph Bullard, John Managhan, John Murphey, David Campbell, 
Archibald Stone, Abraham Denton, Charles Robinson and Elisha Baker. 
Davidson County sent no delegates. 

John Sevier was chosen president of the convention, and Landon 
Carter, secretary. A committee was appointed to deliberate upon the 
condition of affairs, consisting of Cocke, Outlaw, Carter, Campbell, 
Manifee, Martin, Robinson, Houston, Christian, Kennedy and Wilson. 
After deliberation upon and discussion of the objects of the convention, 
during which the Declaration of Independence was read, and the inde- 
pendence of the three counties represented suggested, the committee 
drew up and presented a report, which was in substance as follows: That 
the committee was of the opinion that they had the right to petition Con- 
gress to accept the cession of North Carolina and to recognize them as a 
separate government; that if any contiguous part of Virginia should 
make application to join this association, after being permitted to make 
such application by Virginia, they should receive and enjoy the same 
privileges that -they themselves enjoyed, and that one or more persons 
should be sent to represent the situation of things to Congress. This 
report was adopted by the following vote : Yeas— Messrs. Terrell, Samms, 


North, Taylor, Anderson, Houston, Cox, Talbot, Joseph Wilson, Trim- 
ble, Reese, John Anderson, Manifee, Christian, Carnes, A. Taylor, Fitz- 
gerald, Cavit, Looney, Cocke, B. Gist, Rawlings, Bullard, Joshua Gist, 
Valentine Sevier, Eobinson, Evans and Managhan. Nays — John Tip- 
ton, Joseph Tipton, Stuart, Maxfield, D. Looney, Vincent, Cage, Provine, 
Gammon, Davis, Kennedy, Newman, Weir, James Wilson and Campbell. 

It is thought that the above described proceedings were had at the 
August convention of 1784, which may account for the discrepancy in 
the names of those voting as compared with those elected, as given ear- 
lier.* The plan of the association was drawn up by Messrs. Cocke and 
Hardin, and was referred next day to the convention. This plan was the 
formation of an association by the election of representatives to it, to 
send a suitable person to Congress, and to cultivate public spirit, benev- 
olence and virtue, and they pledged themselves to protect the association 
with their lives and fortunes, faith and reputation. 

It was then determined that each county should elect five members to 
a convention to adopt a constitution and form an independent State. 
This convention met in November and broke up in great confusion upon 
the plan of association, and besides some were opposed to separation 
from North Carolina. The North Carolina General Assembly was then in 
session at Newbern, and repealed the act of cession to the United States, 
appointed an assistant judge and an attorney-general for the superior 
court, directed the superior court to be held at Jonesborough and also 
organized the militia of Washington District into a brigade and ap- 
pointed John Sevier brigadier-general. Gen. Sevier expressed himself 
satisfied with the action of North Carolina, and advised the people to 
proceed no further in their determination to separate from the parent 
State, but they were not 'to be advised. Proceeding with their move- 
ment five delegates or deputies were chosen to the convention from each 
county as follows: Washi4gton County — John Sevier, William Cocke, 
_John Tipton, Thomas Stewart and Rev. Samuel Houston. Sullivan 
County — David Looney, Richard Gammon, Moses Looney, William Cage 
and John Long. Greene County — Daniel Kennedy, John Newman, 
James Roddye and Joseph Hardin. 

Upon assembling John Sevier was elected president of the conven- 
tion, and F. A. Ramsey, -secretary. Prayer was offered b}- the Rev. 
Samuel Houston. A constitution was adopted subject to the ratification 
or rejection of a future convention to be chosen by the people. This 
convention met at the appointed time and place, Greeneville, November 
14, 1784, the first legislative assembly that ever convened in Tennessee. 



Landon Carter was speaker and Thomas Talbot clerk of the Senate; 
William Cage, speaker and Thomas Chapman, clerk of the House of 
Commons. The assembly, after being organized, elected John Sevier 
governor. A judiciary system was established, and David Campbell 
elected judge of the superior court, and Joshua Gist and John Anderson 
assistant judges. The last day of this first session was March 31, 1785. 
Numerous acts were ratified, among them one for the promotion of learn- 
ing in the county of Washington. Under the provisions of this act 
Martin Academy was founded, and Rev. Samuel Doak became its presi- 
dent. Wayne County was organized out of a part of Washington and 
Wilkes Counties. The officers of this new State, in addition to those 
mentioned above, were the following: State senator, Landon Carter; 
treasurer, William Cage; surveyor-general, Stockley Donelson; briga- 
dier-generals of the militia, Daniel Kennedy and William Cocke. Gen. 
Cocke was chosen delegate to Congress. Council of State, William Cocke, 
Landon Carter, Francis A. Ramsey, Judge Campbell, Gen. Kennedy and 
Col. Taylor. The salaries of the officers were fixed, various articles were 
made a legal tender in the payment of debts, and a treaty was made with 
the Cherokee Indians. The boundary line, according to this treaty, 
which was concluded May 31, 1785, was the ridge dividing the Little 
River and the Tennessee. 

Gov. Martin, of North Carolina, hearing of the organization of 
the State of Franklin, addressed Gov. Sevier, requesting informa- 
tion regarding the movement. In response to this request a communi- 
cation was sent to Gov. Martin, signed by Gov. John Sevier, by Landon 
Carter, speaker of the Senate, and by William Cage, speaker of the House 
of Commons, setting forth what had been done and the several reasons 
therefor. Thereupon Gov. Martin called together the Council of North 
Carolina, April 22, and convened the Legislature June 1, and on the 
same day issued an elaborate manifesto to the inhabitants in the revolted 
counties, Washington, Sullivan and Greene, hoping to reclaim them to 
their allegiance to North Carolina, and warning them of the consequences 
of their action in adhering to the State of Franklin. A few had, from 
the first, opposed the organization of the State. The repeal of the cession 
act had increased their number, but no one seemed to desire to establish 
a permanent connection with North Carolina, hence a large majority of 
the people firmly adhered to the new commonwealth. 

During the administration of Patrick Henry as governor of Virginia, 
information was communicated by him to the Legislature of that State 
as to the movement of Col. Arthur Campbell and others, who had labored 
with some success to persuade the citizens of Washington County to sever 


their connection from the old government of Virginia, and attach them- 
selves to the new State of Franklin, or to form a new one distinct from 
it. It was proposed by Col. Campbell that the limits of the new State, 
•which he was in favor of forming and naming " Frankland," should be as 
follows: " Beginning at a point on the top of the Alleghany or Appalach- 
ian Mountains, so as a line drawn due north from this point will touch 
the bank of the New Eiver, otherwise called Kanawha, at its confluence 
with Little Eiver, which is about one mile from Ingle's Ferry, down the 
said river Kanawha to the mouth of the Eencovert, or Green Briar Eiver; 
a direct line from thence to the nearest summit of the Laurel Mountains, 
and along the highest part of the same to the point where it is inter- 
cepted by the thirty-seventh degree of north latitude ; west along that lati- 
tude to a point where it is met by a meridian line that passes through the 
lower part of the Eiver Ohio ; south along the meridian to Elk Eiver, a 
branch of the Tennessee ; down said river to its mouth, and down the 
Tennessee to the most southwardly part or bend of the said river ; a direct 
line from thence to that branch of the Mobile called Tombigbee; down 
said river Tombigbee to its junction with the Coosawattee Eiver, to the 
mouth of that branch of it called the Hightower ; thence south to the top 
of the Appalachian Mountains, or the highest land that divides the sources 
of the eastern from the western waters ; northwardly along the middle of 
said heights and the top of the Appalachian Mountains to the beginning." 

The proposed form of government stated that the inhabitants Avithin 
the above limits agreed with each other to form themselves into a free 
and independent body politic or State by the name of the " Commonwealth 
of Frankland." It will be seen that the people who proposed to estab- 
lish the independent State of Frankland had affixed such boundaries to 
their proposed commonwealth as to include the State of Franklin, much 
of the territory of Virginia, and the present Kentucky, and of Georgia 
and Alabama. This magnificent project was supported by but few men, 
and was soon abandoned, even by its friends and projectors. 

The people who had revolted from North Carolina, however, continued 
to maintain their form of government, but it still remained for the people 
ill convention assembled to ratify, amend or reject the constitution pro- 
posed by a former convention. The convention met, but a complete list 
of their names has not been preserved. The following, is a partial list: 
David Campbell, Samuel Houston, John Ti])ton, John Ward, EobertLove, 
"William Cox, David Craig, James Montgomery, John Strain, Eobert 
Allison, David Looney, John Blair, James White, Samuel Menece, John 
Gilliland, James Stuart, George Maxwell, Joseph Tipton and Peter Park- 
inson. The Bill of Eights and Constitution of the State of Frankland, 


were proposed for adoption, discussed and rejected by a small majority. 
The president of the convention, Gen. John Sevier, then presented the 
constitution of North Carolina as the foundation of the government for 
the new State. This constitution, modified to suit the views of the mem- 
bers of the convention, was adopted by a small majority. The names 
" Franklin," after Dr. Benjamin Franklin, of Philadelphia, and " Frank- 
land," meaning the land of freemen, were then proposed, and the name 
Franklin chosen, and the convention appointed Gen. Cocke to present the 
constitution as adopted to Congress, with a memorial applying for admis- 
sion into the Union, but he was not received and no notice was taken of 
his mission. 

The Franklin government had now got under way, and Greeneville 
became the permanent capital of the State. Four days after the Greene- 
ville Convention was held the North Carolina Legislature passed an act 
preceded by a preamble in which were recited the reasons for the organ- 
ization of the State of Franklin, that the citizens thought North Carolina 
inattentive to their welfare, had ceased to regard them as citizens, and 
had made an absolute cession of the soil and jurisdiction of the State to 
Congress. It stated that this opinion was ill-founded, that the General 
Assembly of North Carolina had been and continued to be desirous of 
extending the benefits of civil government over them, and granted par- 
don and oblivion for all that had been done, provided they would return 
to their allegiance to North Carolina. It appointed officers civil and 
military in place of those holding office under the State of Franklin, and 
empowered the voters of Washington, Sullivan and Greene Counties to 
elect representatives otherwise than by the methods then in vogue. 
Dissatisfaction with the Franklin government began to manifest itself, 
and in Washington County, George Mitchell, as sheriff, issued the fol- 
lowing notice: 

.Tilly, 19th day, 1786. 

Advertisement — I hereby give Publick Notice that there will be an election held the 
third Friday in August next at John Rennoe's near the Sickamore Sholes, where Charles 
Robinson formerly lived, to choose members to represent "Washington County in the 
General Assembly of North Carolina, agreeable to an act of Assembly in that case made 
and provided, where due attendance will be given pr me. 

George Mitchell, Sheriff. 

The election was held on Watauga River. Col. John Tipton was 
chosen senator from Washington County, and James Stuart and Bichard 
White members of the House of Commons. Their election was, and 
was generally perceived to be, ominous of the fate of the State of Frank- 
lin, and following their example many citizens enrolled their names in 
opposition to the new State. From this time resistance to its authority 
assumed a more systematic and determined form. The unusual anomaly 


was exliibited o£ two empires holding sway at one and the same time 
over the same territory. As was to be expected, the authority of the 
two frequently came in conflict with each other. The county courts of 
the one were broken up by the forces of the other and vice versa, and the 
justices of the peace turned out of doors. But the government of 
Franklin continued to exercise its authority in the seven counties con- 
stituting its sovereignty, and to defend its citizens from the encroach- 
ments of the Indians. Gen. Cocke and Judge Campbell were appointed 
commissioners to negotiate a separation from North Carolina, but not- 
withstanding their most determined and persistent efforts, the General 
Assembly of North Carolina disregarded their memorials and protests, 
and continued to make laws for the government of the people of the 
State of Franklin. Commissioners were sent to, accepted, and acted 
under, by several people in Washington, Sullivan and Hawkins Coun- 
ties as justices of the peace, and courts were held by them as if the State 
of Franklin did not exist. Difficulties between the two States continued, 
notwithstanding efforts on the part of the people to adjust them, and 
trouble with the Indians could not be avoided. Negotiations were con- 
ducted with Georgia for the purpose of securing mutual assistance. 
Gov. John Sevier was elected a member of the "Society of the Cincin- 
nati." Sevier recruited an army to co-operate with Georgia in her cam- 
paign against the Creek Indians. In 1787 there remained in the com- 
monwealth of Franklin scarcely vitality enough to confer upon it a mere 
nominal existence, the Legislature itself manifested a strong inclination 
to dismemberment, its county courts were discordant, and in fact 
attempting to exercise conflicting authority. An unpleasant clashing of 
opinion and effort to administer the laws was the necessary result. The 
county court of Washington County held its session at Davis', under 
the authority of North Carolina, while that under Franklin held its ses- 
sions at Jonesborough. John Tipton was clerk at Davis' and the fol- 
lowing extract is from his docket: 

1788, February term — Ordered, that the Sheriff take into custody the County Court 
docket of said county, supposed to be in possession of John Sevier, Esq., and the same 
records being from him or any other person or persons in whose possession they may be, 
or hereafter shall be, and the same return to this or some succeeding Court for said 

The supremacy of the new and old governments was soon after this- 
brought to a test. A scire facias was issued in the latter part of 1787 
and placed in tlie hands of the sheriff to be executed in the early part of 
1788 against the estate of Gov. John Sevier. The sheriff of North Caro- 
lina seized Gov. Sevier's negroes while he was on the frontiers of Greene 
County defending the inhabitants against the Indians. Hearing of this 


action oi; the sheriff Gov. Sevier immediately resolved to suppress all op- 
position to the government of Franklin and to punish the actors for their 
audacity. Raising 150 men he marched directly to Col. Tipton's house. 
Gov. Sevier's indignation had also been aroused by a knowledge of the 
fact that Tipton had made an attempt to take him prisoner. Upon Sevier's 
arrival before Tipton's house, which was on Sinking Creek, a branch of 
Watauga Biver, about eight or ten miles from Jonesborough, he found 
it defended by Col. Tipton and fifteen of his friends. Though he had a 
much larger force than Tipton and was in possession of a small piece of 
ordnance, his demand for an unconditional surrender w^as met with a flat 
refusal and the daring challenge "to fire and be damned." But Gov. 
Sevier could not bring himself to the point of making an attack upon 
men who were, and upon whom he looked as, his fellow citizens. Nego- 
tiations failed to effect a surrender. Gov. Tipton received large rein- 
forcements, and after the siege had been continued a few days made an 
attack upon the Governor's forces, who, after defending themselves in a 
half-hearted way for a short time, were driven off. With this defeat of 
Gov. Sevier's troops the government of Franklin practically came to an end. 
But the populace was greatly excited. Not long after this siege, which 
terminated about February 28, 1788, Bishop Francis Asbury made a 
visit to the settlements on the Watauga and held a conference, the first 
west of the mountains, about May 1, 1788. His calm dignity and un- 
pretending simplicity served to soothe and quiet and harmonize the ex- 
cited masses, and to convert partisans and factions into brothers and 

After the termination of the siege at Tipton's, Gov. Sevier, now a 
private citizen, was engaged in defending the frontiers against the In- 
dians. As was to be expected, his conduct was represented to the Gov- 
ernor of North Carolina as embodying under the form of a colonelcy of 
an Indian expedition, still further resistance to North Carolina. The 
consequence was that Gov. Johnston issued to Judge Campbell the fol- 
lowing instructions: 

Hillsborough, 29th July, 1788. 

Sir: It has been represented to the Executive that John Sevier, who styles himself 
captain-general of the State of Franklin, has been guilty of high treason, in levying troops 
to oppose the laws and government of the State, and has with an armed force put to death 
several good citizens. If these facts shall appear to you by the affidavit of credible per- 
sons, you will issue your warrant to apprehend the said John Sevier, and in case he can 
not be sufficiently secured for trial in the District of Washington, order him to be com- 
mitted to the public gaol. 

Judge Campbell, either from unwillingness or incapacity arising 

from his past relations with Gov. Sevier, or both, failed to obey the 

order of Gov. Johnston; but Spencer, one of the judges of North Caro- 


lina, held a superior court at Jonesborougli in. conjunction with Camp- 
bell, and there issued the warrant against Sevier for the crime of high 
treason. After the expiration of considerable time Sevier was arrested, 
handcuffed, and taken as a prisoner to Morganton for trial, notwith- 
standing his protest against being taken away from his home and friends. 
After being in Morganton a few days, during a part of which time he 
was out on bail, a small party of men, composed of two sons of his 
(James and John Sevier), Dr. James Cozby, Maj. Evans, Jesse Greene 
and John Gibson arrived unnoticed in Morganton, having come in singly, 
and at night, at the breaking up of the court which was then in session, 
pushed forward toward the mountains with the Governor with the great- 
est rapidity, and before morning were there and far beyond pursuit. 
This rescue, so gallantly made, was both witnessed and connived at by 
citizens of Burke County, of which Morganton was the county seat, 
many of whom were friends of Sevier, and although sensible that he had 
been guilty of a technical violation of the law, were yet unwilling to see 
him suffer the penalty attached by the law to such violation. ' His cap- 
ture and brief expatriation only served to heighten, among the citizens of 
the late State of Franklin whom he had served so long and so well, their 
appreciation of his services, and to deepen the conviction of his claims 
to their esteem and confidence, and when the General Assembly, which 
met at Fayetteville November 21, 1788, extended the act of pardon to 
all who had taken part in the Franklin revolt except John Sevier, who 
was debarred from the enjoyment of any office of profit, of honor or trust 
in the State of North Carolina, this exception was seen to be at variance 
with the wishes of the people, and at the annual election in August of 
the next year the people of Greene County elected John Sevier to repre- 
sent them in the Senate of North Carolina. At the appointed time, No- 
vember 2, 1789, he was at Fayetteville, but on account of disabilities did 
not attempt to take his seat until after waiting a few days, during which 
time the Legislature repealed the clause above mentioned which debarred 
him from office. During the session he was reinstated as brigader-gen- 
eral for the western counties. In apportioning the representatives to 
Congress from North Carolina the General Assembly divided the State 
into four Congressional Districts, the westernmost of which comprising 
all the territory west of the mountains. From this district John Sevier 
was elected, and was thus the first member of Congress from the great 
Mississippi Valley. He took his seat Wednesday, June 16, 1790. 



Organization Concluded— Congressional Action for the Disposal of Un- 
appropriated Lands— The Cession Act of North Carolina— The Ac- 
ceptance BY Congress— The Deed — Act for the Governiment of the 
Territory— Offices and Commissions— Gubernatorial Acts and Poli- 
cies—The Spanish and the Indian Questions — Establishment of Coun- 
ties—The Territorial Assembly— The Early La^\'s and Taxes— Offi- 
cial Documents— Statistics— The First Constitutional Convention — 
Debate of Forms and Provisions— The Bill of Rights— Real Estate 
Taxation— Official Qualifications— Other Constitutional Measures 
— Formation of the State Government — The State Assembly — John 
Sevier, Governor — Legislative Proceedings— Establishment of Courts 
— The Second Constitutional Convention— Alterations, etc. — Amend- 
ments Before and Soon After the Civil War— The Present Constitu- 
tion—Its General Character and "Worth. 

AS was stated under the history of the State of Franklin, it was not 
long after the dissolution of that organization before it became 
necessary that separation should occur between North Carolina and her 
western territory. And this separation was effected by the passage by 
the mother State of her second cession act, dated December, 1789. This 
cession was in accordance with the following resolution adopted by the 
Congress of the United States, October 10, 1780: 

Resolved: That'the unappropriated lands that may be ceded or relinquished to the 
United States by any particular State, pursuant to the recommendation of Congress of the 
6th day of September last, shall be disposed of for the common benefit of the United States 
and be settled and formed into distinct republican States, which shall become members of 
the Federal Union and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence as 
the other States; that each State which shall be so formed shall contain a suitable extent 
of territory, not less than one hundred nor more than one hundred and fifty miles square, 
or as near thereto as circumstances will admit; that the necessar}^ and reasonable expenses 
which any particular State shall have incurred since the commencement of the present 
war, in subduing any British posts or in maintaining forts or garrisons within, and for 
the defense, or in acquiring any part of the territory that may be ceded or relinquished to 
the United States, shall be reimbursed; that the said lands shall be granted or settled at 
such times and under such regulations as shall hereafter be agreed on by the United 
States in Congress assembled, or any nine or more of them. — Journals of Congress, October 
10, 1780. 

The cession act of North Carolina was in the following language: 

Whereas, the United States in Congress assembled, have repeatedly and earnestly 
recommended to the respective States in the Union, claiming or owning vacant western 
territory, to make cession of part of the same as a further means, as well of hastening the 
extinguishment of the debts, as of establishing the harmony of the United States; and the 


inhabitants of the said western territory being also desirous that such cession should be 
made, in order to obtain a more ample protection than they have heretofore received; 

Nolo, this State, being ever desirous of doing ample justice to the public creditors, as 
well as the establishing the harmony of the United States, and complying with the rea- 
sonable desires of lier citizens: 

Be it enacted by the Oeneral Assembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby 
enacted by the authority of the same. That the senators of this State, in the Congress of 
the United States, or one of the senators and any two of the representatives of this State, 
in the Congress of the United States, are hereby authorized, empowered and required to 
execute a deed or deeds on the part and behalf of this State, conveying to the United 
States of America all right, title and claim which this State has to the sovereignty and 
territory of the lands situated within the chartered limits of this State west of a line be- 
ginning on the extreme height of the Stone Mountain, at a place where the Virginia line 
intersects it; running thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to the place 
where Watauga River breaks through it; thence a direct course to the top of the Yellow 
Mountain, where Bright's road crosses the same; thence along the ridge of said mountain 
between the waters of Doe River and the waters of Rock Creek to the place where the 
road crosses the Iron Mountain; from thence along the extreme height of said mountain 
to where Nolichucky River runs through the same; thence to the top of the Bald Mountain; 
thence along the extreme height of the said mountain to the Painted Rock on French 
Broad River; thence along the highest ridge of the said mountain to the place where it 
is called the Great Iron or Smoky Mountain; thence along the extreme height of the said 
mountain to the place where it is called Unicoy or Unaka Mountain, between tlie Indian 
towns of Cowee and Old Chota; thence along the main ridge of the said mountain to the 
southern boundary of this State; upon the following express conditions and subject there- 
to: TJiat is to say: 

First. That neither the lands nor the inhabitants westward of the said mountain 
shall bo estimated after the cession made by virtue of this act shall be accepted, in the as- 
certaining the proportion of this State with the United States in the common expense 
occasioned by the late war. 

Secondly. That the lands laid off or directed to be laid off by an act or acts of the 
General Assembly of this State for the officers and soldiers thereof, their heirs and assigns, 
respectively, shall be and inure to the use and benefit of the said officers, their heirs and 
assigns, respectively; and if the bounds of the lands already prescribed for the officers and 
soldiers of tlie continental line of this State sliall not contain a sufficient quantity of land 
fit for cultivation, to make good tlie .several provisions intended by law, that such officer or 
soldier or his assignee, who shall fall short of his allotment or proportion after all the 
lands fit for cultivation within the said bounds are appropriated, be permitted to take his 
quota, or such part thereof as may be deficient, in any other part of the said territory in- 
tended to be ceded by virtue of this act, not already appropriated. And where entries 
have been made agreeable to law, and titles under them not perfected by grant or other- 
wise, then, and in that case, the governor for the time being shall, and he is hereby required 
to perfect, from time to time, such titles, in such manner as if this act had never been 
passed. And that all entries made by, or grants made to, all and every person or persons 
•y^atsoever agreeable to law and within the limits hereby intended to be ceded to the 
IpHk States, shall have the*same force and effect as if such cession had not been made; 
a]|^Uiui. all and every right of occupancy and pre-emption and every other right reserved 
by^iiny act or acts to persons settled on and occupying lands within the limits of the lands 
hereby intended to be ceded as aforesaid, shall continue to be in full force in the same 
manner as if the cession had not been made, and as conditions upon which the said lands 
are ceded to the United States. And further, it shall be understood that if any person or 
persons shall have by virtue of the act entitled "An act for opening the land office for the 
redemption of specie and other certificates and discharging the arrears due to the army," 
passed in the year one thousand seven hundred and eighty-three, made his or their entry 


in the office usually called John Armstrong's office and located the same to any spot or 
piece of ground on which any other person or persons shall have previously located any 
entry or entries, and then, and in that case, the person or persons having made such entry 
or entries, or their assignee or assignees, shall have leave, and be at full liberty to remove 
the location of such entry or entries, to any land on which no entry has been specially 
located or on any vacant lands included within the limits of the lands hereby intended to 
he ceded: Provided, That nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to ex- 
tend, to the making good of any entry or entries, or any grant or grants heretofore de- 
clared void, by any act or acts of the General Assembly of this State. 

Thirdly. That all the lands intended to be ceded by virtue of this act to the United 
States of America, and not appropriated as before mentioned, shall be considered as a 
common fund for the use and benefit of the United States of America, North Carolina in- 
clusive, according to their respective and usual proportion in the general charge and ex- 
penditure, and shall be faithfully disposed of for that purpose and for no other use or 
purpose whatever. 

Fourthly. That the territory so ceded shall be laid out and formed into a State or 
States,* containing a suitable extent of territory, the inhabitants of which shall enjoy all 
the privileges, benefits and advantages set forth in the ordinance of the late Congress for 
the government of the Western Territory of the United States; that is to say: Whenever 
the Congress of the United States shall cause to be officially transmitted to the executive 
authority of this State, an authenticated copy of the act to be passed b}' the Congress of 
the United States accepting the cession of territory made by virtue of this act under the 
express conditions hereby specified, the said Congress shall at the same time, assume the 
government of the said ceded territory, which they shall execute in a similar manner f to 
that which they support in the territory west of the Ohio; shall protect the inhabitants 
against enemies and shall never bar nor deprive them of any privileges which the people 
in the territory west of the Ohio enjoy: Provided always, that no regulations made or to 
be made by Congress shall tend to emancipate slaves. 

Fifthly. That the inhabitants of the said ceded territory shall be liable to pay such 
sums of money as may, from taking their census, be their just proportion of the debt of 
the United States, and the arrears of the requisitions of Congress on this State. 

Sixthly. That all persons indebted to this State residing in the territory intended to 
be ceded by virtue of this act shall be held and deemed liable to pay such debt or debts in 
the same manner, and under the same penalty or penalties, as if this act had never been 

Seventldy. That if the Congress of the United States do not accept the cession 
hereby intended to be made, in due form, and give official notice thereof to the executive 
of this State, within eighteen months from the passing of this act, then this act shall be 
of no force or effect whatsoever. 

Eighthly. That the laws in force and use in the State of North Carolina, at the time 
of passing this act shall be, and continue, in full force within the territory hereby ceded 
until the same shall be repealed or otherwise altered by the Legislative authority of the 
said territory. 

Ninthlj^ That the lands of non-resident proprietors within the said ceded territory 
shall not be taxed higher than the lands of residents. .^ 

Tenthly. That this act shall not prevent the people now residing south (^^Hjk ^ 
Broad, between the rivers Tennessee and Big Pigeon, from entering their pre-enipsio^ in 
that tract should an office be opened for that purpose under an act of the present Gen'feral 
Assembly. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid. That the sovereignty and 
jurisdiction of this State, in and over the territory aforesaid, and all anif every inhabitant 

* See Act of Congress of June 1, 1796, post; also resolution of Congress of October 10, 1780, ante. 

f The " manner" of government here referred to is fully set forth in "An Ordinance for the Government 
of the Territory of the United States Northwest of the Kiver Ohio," passed July 13, 1787. The "Territory of 
the United States south of the River Ohio " was, for the purpose of temporary government, declared to be one 
district by an act of Congress approved May 26, 1790. 


thereof, shall be, and remain, the same, in all respects, until the Congress of the United 
States shall accept the cession to be made by virtue of this act, as if this act had never 

Read three times, and ratified in General Assembly the day of December, A. D. 

1789. Chas. Johnson, Sp. Sen. 

S. Cabarrus, Sp. H. C. 

Upon the presentation of this cession act to Congress, that body passed 
the following act accepting the cession: 


A deed of cession having been executed, and, in the Senate, offered for acceptance to 
the United States, of the claims of the State of North Carolina to a district or territory 
therein described, which deed is in the words following, viz. : 
To all who shall see these Presents. 

We, the underwritten Samuel Johnston and Benjamin Hawkins, Senators in the Con- 
gress of the United States of America, duly and constitutionally chosen by the Legislature 
of the State of North Carolina, send greeting. 

Whereas, The General Assembly of the State of North Carolina on the day of 

December, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine, passed 
an act entitled "an act for the purpose of ceding to the United States of America certain 
western lands therein described," in the words following, to wit: 

(Here was recited the cession act of North Carolina.) 

Now, therefore, know ye, That we, Samuel Johnston and Benjamin Hawkins, Sen- 
ators aforesaid, by virtue of the power and authority committed to us by the said act, and 
in the name, and for and on behalf of the said State, do, by these presents, convey, assign, 
transfer and set over, unto the United States of America, for the benefit of the said States, 
North Carolina inclusive, all right, title and claim which the said State hath to the sover- 
eignty and territory of the lands situated within the chartered limits of the said State, as 
bounded and described in the above recited act of the General Assembly, to and for the 
use and purposes, and on the conditions mentioned in the said act. 

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names and afllxed 
our seals in the Senate chamber at New York, this twenty-fifth day of Febru- 
ary, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninet3^ ^^d in 
the fourteenth year of the independence of the United States of America. 
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of 

Sam. a. Otis Sam. Johnston, 

Benjamin Hawkins. 
The following act was then passed by Congress: 

Be it enacted bij the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of Amer- 
ica in Congress assembled, That the said deed be, and the same is hereby accepted. 

Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, 

Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
John Adams, 
Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate. 
Approved April the 2d, 1790. 

George Washington, 

President of the United States. 

The cession thus being accepted and approved, Congress soon after- 
ward passed a law for the government of the new acquisition. This law 
"was in the following language: 



Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
State of America in Congress assembled, That the territory of the United States south of 
the river Ohio, for the purposes of temporary government, shall be one district, the inhab- 
itants of whicli shall enjoy all the privileges, benefits and advantages, set forth in the 
ordinance of the late Congress for the government of the territory of the United States 
northwest of the river the Ohio. And the government of the said territory south of the Ohio, 
shall be similar to that which is now exercised in the territory northwest of the Ohio, 
except so far as is otherwise provided in the conditions expressed in an act of Congress 
of the present session entitled: "An act to accept a cession of the claims of the State of 
North Carolina to a cfertain district of western territory." 

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted. That the salaries of the officers, which the Pres- 
ident of the United States shall nominate, and with the advice and consent of the Senate 
appoint, by virtue of this act shall be the same as those, by law established of similar offi- 
cers in the government northwest of the river Ohio. And the powers, duties and emol- 
uments of a superintendent of Indian affairs for the Southern Department shall be united 
with those of the Governor. 

Approved May 26, 1790. 

Congress having thus made provision for the government of the ter- 
ritory, the duty devolved upon President George Washington to appoint 
suitable officers to carry the government of the new territory into oper- 
ation. As is usual in such cases, there were several gentlemen of 
acknowledged capacity and worth of character, who through their friends 
were candidates for the office of governor. Mr. Mason of Virginia was pre- 
sented to the President by Patrick Henry. But the representatives in the 
North Carolina General Assembly from Washington and Mero Districts, 
had frequently met in the Assembly a North Carolina gentleman, kindly 
and sociable indisposition, of graceful and accomplished manner, business- 
like in his habits, and of extensive information respecting Indian affairs, 
and, who in addition to these qualifications had manifested many proofs 
of sympathy and interest for the pioneers of the territory now needing 
an executive head. This gentleman was William Blount, and besides his 
eminent fitness for the position ; there was an evident propriety in select- 
ing the governor from the State, by which the territory had been ceded 
to the United States. President Washington, recognizing the validity 
and force of these considerations, issued to him a commission as gov- 
ernor, which he received August 7, 1790. On the 10th of October follow- 
ing. Gov. Blount reached the scene of his new and important public 
duties on the frontier, and took up his residence at the house of Willjam 
Cobb, near Washington Court House, in the fork of Holston and Watauga 
Kivers, and not far from Watauga Old Fields. Mr. Cobb was a wealthy 
farmer, an emigrant from North Carolina, and was no stranger to com- 
fort, taste nor style. He entertained elegantly, and kept horses, dogs, 
rifles and even traps for the comfort and amusement of his guests. Thus 



surrounded, Gov. Blount held his first court. The President had ap- 
pointed as judges in the Territorial Go^'ernment David Campbell and 
Joseph Anderson. David Campbell will be remembered as having held 
a similar position under the State of Franklin, and subsequently under 
the appointment of North Carolina. Joseph Anderson had been an offi- 
cer in the Continental service during the Revolutionary war. Gov. 
Blount appointed Daniel Smith Secretary of the Territorial Government, 
and also the civil and military officers for the counties forming the dis- 
trict of Washington. The oath of office was administered to these ap- 
pointees by Judge Campbell. The following are the names of some of 
the officers: Washington County, November term, 1790 — magistrates, 
Charles Robertson, John Campbell, Edmond Williams and John Chis- 
holm; clerk, James Sevier. Greene County, February term, 1791— 
magistrates, Joseph Hardin, John Newman, William Wilson, John Mc- 
Nabb and David Rankin; clerk, David Kennedy. David Allison and 
William Cocke were admitted to the bar. Hawkins County, December 
term, 1790, clerk, Richard Mitchell. 

The private secretaries of the Governor were Willie Blount, his half- 
brother, afterward governor, and Hugh Lawson White, afterward Judge 
White, and candidate for the presidency of the United States. Having 
commissioned the necessary officers for the counties of Washington Dis- 
trict, Gov. Blount set out for Mero District on the 27th of November. 
Mero District was composed of Davidson, Sumner and Tennessee Coun- 
ties. Davidson County — John Donelson, justice of the peace, and Samp- 
son AVilliams was appointed sheriff, and upon the presentation of his com- 
mission from the governor, was appointed by the court. Sumner County: 
Benjamin Menees was appointed justice of the peace, his commission be- 
ing dated December 15, 1790, as were also George Bell, John Philips 
and Martin Duncan. Anthony Crutcher was appointed clerk, and James 
Boyd sheriff. At the April term, 1791, John Montgomery produced 
his commission from Gov. Blount as justice of the peace. In all the 
counties the Governor had appointed military officers below the rank of 
brigadier-general. These he was not authorized to appoint, but recom- 
mended for appointment Col. John Sevier for Washington District, 
and Col. James Robertson for Mero District. These commissions were 
issued in February, 1791. Following is the commission of John Don- 
elson : 

"William Blount, Governor in and over the Territory op the United States of 

America ^outii of the River Ohio. 
To nil who shall see these Presents, Greeting: 

Know ye that I do appoint John Douelson, Esq., of the County of Davidson in the 
said Territory, a Justice of the Peace for the said County, and do authorize and empower 


him to execute and fulfill the duties of that office according to law, and to have and to 
hold the said office during his good Behavior, or during the existence of the Temporary 
Government of said Territory, with all the powers, authorities and privileges to the same 
of right appertaining. 

Given under my hand and seal in the said Territory, this 15th day of December, 1790. 
By the Governor: William Blotjnt. 

Danikl Smith. 

In his tour through the territory, Gov. Blount endeavored to famil- 
iarize himself with the condition and necessities of the inhabitants, with 
tiie view of becoming better prepared to discharge his official duties. His 
position was by no means a sinecure, for, besides the ordinary duties of 
his gubernatorial office, he was obliged to perform those pertaining to 
that of superintendent of Indian affairs, having been also appointed to 
that position on account of his long familiarity with the Indian tribes, 
with whom the people of his territory were necessarily immediately in 
contact. It was and is believed that no man could have been selected 
better qualified than he to reconcile the two classes of citizens more or 
less estranged by the setting up, continuing in existence and dissolution 
of the anomalous government of the State of Franklin, and to regulate 
affairs between the people of the territory, the Indians, and the govern- 
ment of the United States. His superintendency of Indian affairs in- 
cluded the four southern tribes — the Creeks, the Cherokees, the Chicka- 
saws and Choctaws. All of these tribes either resided within or claimed 
hunting grounds within his own territory, and the collisions continually 
occurring between some of these Indians and the settlers caused a con- 
stant complaint to be addressed to the Governor for redress or mitigation. 
One reason of these conflicts was, that in all of the tribes there wei'e sev- 
eral distinct parties swayed by opposing influences and motives. Some 
adhered and favored adherence to the United States; others adhered to 
the Spanish authorities, who still held possessions with military and trad- 
ing posts in Florida, and also similar posts within the limits of the United 
States east of the Mississippi. The Spaniards, notwithstanding treaties 
of peace and professions of friendship, by artful persuasions and tawdry 
presents, incited and inflamed the savages to robbery, pillage and mur- 
der. To reconcile all these animosities, and to protect the people from 
their naturally injurious effects, frequent conferences and an extensive 
correspondence were required, as also was required a high degree of ad- 
ministrative and diplomatic ability. The difficulties of his position were 
enhanced by the policy of the Government of the United States, which 
was to avoid offensive measures, and rely upon conciliation and defense 
with the view of the establishment of peace between the various Indian 
tribes and the settlements, and the neutralization of the influence of the 



Spaniards. Under these circumstances, Gov. Blount found it imj)ossible 
to afPord protection to settlers upon the frontier, aggressions upon whom 
were numerous and of several years' continuance. The settlers them- 
selves, whose property was being destroyed and whose friends and rela- 
tives were being barbarously murdered, could not appreciate this inof- 
fensive policy, but burned with the desire to retaliate in kind upon their 
savage foe, and, as was perfectly natural, heaped upon the head of Gov. 
Blount unstinted censure. Neither were they any better satisfied with 
the treaty concluded August 17, 1790, between the Government of the 
United States and the Creek nation of Indians, by which a large territory 
was restored to that nation. The treaties, however, were not observed by 
the Indians, and, consequently, not by the white people, who complained 
against the Governor for not adopting vigorous measures of offense. The 
Indians complained that such measures were adopted, and the United 
States Government complained that the expense of protecting the frontier 
accumulated so rapidly. Thus Gov. Blount was the center of a steady 
fire of complaint from at least three different sources. But like the mar- 
tyrs of old, the Governor bore these complaints with equanimity, and at 
length the people, ascertaining that the fault was not with him, withdrew 
their complaints, and very generally sustained his authority. 

Besides difficulties with the Indians the duty devolved upon the Gov- 
ernor of preventing the settlement by the Tennessee Company of their 
immense purchase in the Great Bend of the Tennessee River, which was 
at length effectually prevented by the State of Georgia annulling the 
sale. He had also to raise a force of 332 men in the district of Wash- 
ington for service under Gen. St. Clair at Fort Washington. These 
duties, however, he was obliged to permit to fall on Gen. Sevier, his own 
time being so fully engrossed with his Indian superintendency, in which 
capacity he made a treaty with the Cherokees on the Holston July 2, 
1791. Indian hostilities, however, continued, notwithstanding the treaty 
of Holston, and numerous people were killed for a number of years. 
During the next year the Governor held another conference with the In- 
dians, this time at Nashville with the Chickasaws and Choctaws, and in 
company with Gen. Pickens, who attended the conference at the request 
of the Secrerary of War. There was a large delegation of chiefs in 
attendance; goods were distributed among them, which gave renewed 
assurances of peace. A brief account of this conference was written by 
the Governor to the Secretary of War under date of August 31, 1792, as 

On the 10th inst. the conference with the Chickasaws and Choctaws ended; there was 
a very full representation of the former, but not of the latter, owing, there is reason to 


believe, to the Spanish influences. During the conference Gen. Pickens and myself re- 
ceived the strongest assurances of peace and friendship for the United States from these 
nations, and I believe they were made with great sincerity. 

In this way was the Governor engaged for the first two years of his 
term. In 1792 he turned his attention to civil government, and on the 
11th of June, 1792, he issued an ordinance circumscribing the lim- 
its of Greene and Hawkins Counties, and creating Knox and Jefferson 
Counties. This ordinance fixed the time for holding courts of pleas and 
quarter sessions in these two new counties. A number of acts were also 
passed by the Governor and his two judges, David Campbell and Joseph 
Anderson, the first one being pa;ssed November 20, 1792. This act au- 
thorized the levying of a tax for building or repairing court houses, 
prisons and stocks in the respective counties, limiting the tax to 50 cents 
on each poll, and to 17 cents on each 100 acres of land. 

According to the congressional ordinance for the government of the 
territory of the United States south of the Ohio Eiver, the governor and 
the judges, or a majority of them, were authorized to adopt and publish 
such laws, criminal and civil, as might be necessary and best suited to 
the circumstances of the district, which, being from time to time report- 
ed to Congress and by that body approved, were to be the law of the Ter- 
ritory until the organization of the General Assembly, but afterward the 
General Assembly was to have the power to alter them as they might see 
proper. According to this ordinance the Territorial Legislature was to 
consist of the governor, Legislative Council and the House of Represent- 
atives. The General Assembly met at Knoxville, August 25, 1794, the 
Legislative Council being composed as follows: The Hon. Griffith Ruth- 
erford, the Hon. John Sevier, the Hon. James Winchester, the Hon. 
Stockley Donelson and the Hon. Parmenas Taylor. The Hon. Griffith 
Rutherford was unanimously elected president ; George Roulstone, clerk, 
and Christopher Shoat, door-keeper. The House of Representatives was 
composed as follows: David "Wilson, James White, James Ford, William 
Cocke, Joseph McMinn, George Rutledge, Joseph Hardin, George Doher- 
ty, Samuel Wear, Alexander Kelly and John Baird. A message was sent 
by the house to the council, and also one to the governor, notifying each 
respectively of its readiness to proceed to business. The next day they 
adopted rules of decorum and also rules to be observed in the transaction 
of business, prepared by a joint committee of the two houses. When all 
the preliminaries had been arranged the following bills were reported: 
An act to regulate the military of this Territory ; an act to establish the 
judicial courts and to regulate the proceedings thereof; an act making 
provision for the poor ; an act to enable executors and administrators to 


make rights for lauds due upou bouds of persons deceased; an act de- 
claring what property is to be taxable, and for collecting the tax thereon ; 
an act to levy a tax for the support of the Government of 1794:, and an 
act to provide relief for such of the military as have been wounded by 
the Indians in the late invasion. 

By the ordinance for the government of the Territory it was provided 
that as soon as a Legislature shall be formed in the district, the council 
and house, assembled in one room, shall have authority, by joint ballot, 
to elect a delegate to Congress. Under this authority the two houses 
met September 3, 1794, at the court house and balloted for a -delegate 
to Congress. The joint committee to superintend the balloting was com- 
posed of Parmenas Taylor, from the council, and George Doherty and 
Leroy Taylor on the part of the house, and the result of the balloting was 
the election of James White as delegate to Congress. On the next day 
a resolution was adopted by the council requesting the concurrence of 
the house to the taking of a new census of the people, to be made on the 
last Saturday of July, 179t). 

Toward the latter part of the session the two houses had considerable 
difficulty in arranging the details of the Tax Bill. Amendments were 
proposed by the one house and uniformly rejected by the other. During 
this discussion the council submitted to the house the following estimate 
to show that its own schedule of taxation was ample in its provisions for 
the raising of revenue. The following is the estimate of the contingent 
fund: 10,000 white polls at 12| cents, $1,250; 1,100 black polls at 50 
cents, $550; 100 stud horses at $4, $400; 200 town lots at $1, $200; 
taxes of law proceedings, grants, deeds, etc., $750; 1,000,000 acres of 
land at 124- cents, $1,250; total $4,400. This was while the council 
was insisting that a tax of 12| cents on each 100 acres of land was 
sufficient, while the house insisted that the tax on land should be 
25 cents on each 100 acres. Failing to agree on Saturday, September 
27, the two houses adjourned until Monday, the 29th, and on that 
day, after an attempt at compromise by fixing the land tax at 18 cents 
on each 100 acres, the council at length yielded and sent the house 
the following message: "The council accede to your proposition in tax- 
ing land at 25 cents per 100 acres ; you will, therefore, send two of your 
members to see the amendments made accordingly." Following is the 
resv::lution of the house fixing the pay of the members of both houses: 
"■Resolved, that the wages of the members, clerks and door-keepers of 
both houses be estimated as follows: For each member per day, 
$2.50; for each clerk per day, $2.50; for each clerk for stationery 
$25; for each door-keeper per day, $1.75; each member, clerk and 


door-keeper to be allowed for ferriages; every twenty-five miles, riding 
to and from the assembly, $2.50." On the last day of the session, Sep- 
tember 30, among other joint resolutions the following was passed: 
"That the thanks of this General Assembly be presented to Gov. 
Blount for the application of his abilities and attention in forwarding 
their business as representatives; more especially in compiling and ar- 
ranging the system of court law, and that as there appears to be no more 
business before this assembly his excellency is requested to prorogue 
the same to the first Monday in October, 1795." The Governor after 
acknowledging that the laws presented for his approval were essential to 
the public happiness, and that no law of importance was omitted, sent the 
following prorogation : 

William Blount, Goveknor in and over the Territory op the United States of 

America, south of the River Ohio. 
To the President and Gentlemen of the Legislative Council, and the Speaker and Oentlemen 

of the House of Representatives. 

The session of the General Assembly is prorogued until the first Monday in the month 
of October, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, then to commence at this place. 

Given under my hand at Knoxville, September 30, 1794. 

By the Governor, Daniel Smith. WiiiLiAM Blount 

The expense of the Tjegislative Council for the August aiul September 
session, 1794, amounted to $970. 71f, and of the House of Representatives 
for the same session, $1,700. 16|. The Territorial Assembly, although 
prorogued as above narrated, was convened by the Governor on June 29, 
1795. In his message the Governor said: "The principal object for 
which I have called you together at an earlier period than that to which 
the General Assembly stood prorogued, is to afford an opportunity to in- 
quire whether it is as I have been taught to believe, the wish of the 
majority of the people that this Territory should become a State, when 
by taking the enumeration there should prove to be ()0,000 free inhabit- 
ants therein, or at such earlier period as Congress shall pass an act for its 
admission, and if it is to take such measures as may be proper to effect 
the desired change of the form of government as early as practicable." 
On the 7th of July, following, John Sevier from the joint committee ap- 
pointed for the purpose offered the following address to the Governor: 

Sir: — The members of the Legislative Council, and of the House of Representatives 
beg leave to express to your Excellency their approbation of the object for which they 
were principally called together; and feeling convinced that the great body of our con- 
stituents are sensible of the many defects of our present mode of government, and of the 
great and permanent advantages to be derived from a change and speedy representation 
in Congress; the General Assembly of this Territory will during the present session, en- 
deavor to devise such means as may have a tendency to effect that desirable object, and 
in doing so we shall be happy in meeting with your Excellency's concurrence. 


The treasurer of Washington and Hamilton Districts submitted his 
report at this session of the Legislature. A joint committee, to whom it 
■was referred, in the conclusion of their report used the following lan- 
guage: "Your committee beg leave to observe that the moneys arising 
from the tax levied by the last General Assembly very much exceed their 
most sanguine expectations, and that such will be tlie state of the treas- 
VLi'Y department, that the next tax to be levied may be very much lessened 
and then be fully commensurate and adequate to defray every expendi- 
ture and necessary contingency of our government." It is believed that 
this flattering condition of the treasury had its influence in determining 
public sentiment more strongly in favor of the change in the form of 
government from a Territory to a State. The preference of the people 
of the Territory for a State form of government was recognized by the 
Legislature, which |)assed an act for the enumeration of the inhabitants 
of the Territory, in which it was provided that "if it shall appear that 
there are ()0,000 inhabitants therein, the governor be authorized and 
requested to recommend to the people of the respective counties, to elect 
five persons of each county to represent them in convention to meet at 
Knoxville at such time as he shall judge proper for the purj)Ose of form- 
ing a constitution or form of government for the .permanent government 
for the people who are or shall become residents upon the lands by the 
State of North Carolina ceded to the United States." So general had 
become the conviction that the territorial would soon be superseded by a 
State government, that this session of the Territorial General Assembly 
was of but short duration — thirteen days — and its work, other than that 
outlined above, comparatively unimportant, and in accordance with a con- 
current request of the two houses, the Governor sent the following 
message : 

William Blount, Governor in and over the Territory of the United States op 
America, south of the River Ohio. 

To the President and Qentlemenof the Legislative Council nnd the Speaker and Oentle- 
men of the House of Representatives. 

The business of this session being completed the General Assembly is prorogued Ktne 

Given under my hand and seal at Knoxville, July 11, 1795. 

William Blount. 
By the Governor, 

Thomas H. Williams, Pro. Sec'y. 

The results of the enumeration of the people under the act passed as 

above recited were as follows: 

Territory op the United States op America, South of the River Ohio. 

Schedule of the aggregate amount of each description of persons, taken agreeably to 
" An act providing for the enumeration of the inhabitants of the Territory of the United 
States of America south of the River Ohio," passed July 11, 1795. 




Free white males, 
16 years and up- 
ward, including 
heads of families. 

a> ■ 

a !S 
a a) 

u 3 

All other free per- 




























































































I, William Blount, Governor in and over the Territory of the United States of Amer- 
ica, south of the River Ohio, do certify that the schedule is made in conformity with the 
schedules of the sheriffs of the respective counties in the said Territory, and that the 
.schedules of the said sheriffs are lodged in my office. 

Given under my hand at Knoxville November 28, 1795. 

William Blount. 

The Territory being thus found to contain more than the number of 

inhabitants required by the ordinance to authorize the formation of a 

State government, Gov. Blount issued the following proclamation : 

William Blount, Governor in and over the Territory of the United States of America, south 

^of the River Ohio, to the people thereof: 

Whereas by an act passed on the 11th of July last, entitled " An act providing for the 
enumeration of the inhabitants of the Territory of the United States of America south of 
the River Ohio," it is enacted "' that if upon taking the enumeration of the people in the 
said Territory as by that directed, it shall appear that there are 60,000 inhabitants therein, 
counting the whole of the free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years 
and excluding Indians not taxed and adding three-fifths of all other persons, the Governor 
be authorized and requested to recommend to the people of the respective counties to elect 
five persons for each county, to represent them in convention to meet at Knoxville at such 
time as he shall judge proper for the purpose of forming a constitution or permanent form 
of government." 

And, Whereas, upon taking the enumeration of the inhabitants of said Territory, as 
by the act directed, it does appear that there are 60,000 free inhabitants therein and more, 
besides other persons; now I, the said William Blount, Governor, etc., do recommend to 
the people of the respective counties to elect five persons for each county, on the 18th and 
19th days of December next, to represent them in a convention to meet at Knoxville on 
the lltli day of January next, for the purpose of forming a constitution or permanent 
form of government. 

And to the end that a perfect uniformity in the election of the members of the conven- 
tion may take place in the respective counties, I, the said William Blount, Governor, etc., 
do further recommend to the sheriffs or their deputies, respectively, to open and hold 
polls of election for members of convention, on the 18th and 19th days of December, as 
.aforesaid, in the same manner as polls of election have heretofore been held for members 


of the General Assembly; and that all free males twenty one years of age and upward, be 
considered entitled to vote by ballot for five persons for members of convention, and that 
the sheriffs or their deputies holding such polls of election give certificates to the five 
persons in each county having the greatest number of votes, of their being duly elected 
members of convention. 

And I, the said William Blount, Governor, etc., think proper here to declare that this 
recommendation is not intended to have, nor ought to have, any effect whatever upon the 
present temporary form of government; and that tlie present temporary form will con- 
tinue to be exercised in the same manner as if it had never been issued, until the conven- 
tion shall have formed and published a constitution or permanent form of government. 

Done at Knoxville November 38, 1795. 

William Blount. 
By the Governor, Willie Blount, Pro. Secretary. 

In accordance with the suggestions of this proclamation, elections 
were held in each of the eleven counties in the Territory, for five mem- 
bers of the convention from each county. These members met at Knox- 
ville, January 11, 1796. Following are the names of the members who 
appeared, produced their credentials and took their seats: 

Jefferson County — Joseph Anderson, George Doherty, Alexander 
Outlaw, William Roddye, Archibald Roane. Hawkins County — James 
Berry, William Cocke, Thomas Henderson, Joseph McMinn, Richard 
Mitchell. Greene County — Elisha Baker' Stephen Brooks, Samuel Fra- 
zier, John Galbreath, William Rankin. Knox County — John Adair, Will- 
iam Blount, John Crawford, Charles McClung, James White. Wash- 
ington County — Landon Carter, Samuel Handley, James Stuart, Leroy 
Taylor, John Tipton. Sullivan County — William C. C. Claiborne, Rich- 
ard Gammon, George Rutledge, John Rhea, John Shelby, Jr. Sevier 
County — Peter Bryan, Thomas Buckingham, John Clack, Samuel Wear, 
Spencer Clack. Blount County — Joseph Black, David Craig, Samuel 
Glass, James Greenaway, James Houston. Davidson County — Thomas 
Hardeman, Andrew Jackson, Joel Lewis, John McNairy, James Robert- 
son. Sumner County — Edward Douglass, W. Douglass, Daniel Smith, 
D. Shelby, Isaac Walton. Tennessee County— James Ford, William 
Fort, Robert Prince, William Prince, Thomas Johnson. 

The convention was organized by the election of William Blount, pres- 
ident; William Maclin, secretary, and John Sevier, Jr., reading and en- 
grossing clerk. John Rhea was appointed door-keeper. On motion of 
Mr. White, seconded by Mr. Roddye, it was ordered that the next morn- 
ing's session commence with prayer, and that a sermon be delivered by 
Rev. Mr. Carrick. In the act providing for the enumeration of the in- 
habitants of the Territory, it was provided that each member of the con- 
vention should be entitled to receive the same wages as a member of that 
session of the Assembly — $2.50 per day. The convention on the second 
day of its session adopted the following resolutions : 


Resohfd, That economy is an admirable trait in any government and that, in fixing 
the salaries of the officers thereof, the situation and resources of the country should be 
attended to. 

Resolved, That ten shillings and sixpence, Virginia currency, per day to every member 
is a sufficient compensation for his services in the Convention, and one dollar for everj'^ 
thirty miles they travel in coming to and returning from the Convention, and that the 
members pledge themselves each one to the other that they will not draw a greater sum 
out of the public treasury. 

After substituting $1.50 for 10s. 6d. in the second resolution, botli 
resolutions were unanimously adopted. It was then resolved tliat the con- 
vention appoint two members from each county to draft a constitution, 
and that each county name its members, and accordingly the following 
individuals were named as members of the committee. 

Blount County— Daniel Craig and Joseph Black. Davidson County 
— Andrew Jackson and John McNairy. Greene County— Samuel Fra- 
zier and William Rankin. Hawkins County — -Thomas Henderson and 
■William Cocke. Jefferson County — Joseph Anderson and William 
Boddye. Knox County — William Blount and Charles McClung. Sulli- 
van County — William C. C. Claiborne and John Rhea. Sumner Countv 
— D. Shelby and Daniel Smith. Sevier County— John Clack and Sam- 
uel Wear. Tennessee County — Thomas Johnson and William Fort. 
Washington County — -John Tipton and James Stuart. On motion of Mr. 
McMinn, the sense of the coiivention was taken as to whether a declara- 
tion of rights be prefixed to the constitution, which being decided in 
the affirmative the committee was directed to present as early as practic- 
able a declaration or bill of rights to be thus prefixed. k. bill of 
rights was consequently prepared, but later in the session it was decided 
by the convention to affix it to the constitution as the eleventh arti- 
cle thereof. 

On the 18tli of January an important (juestion was presented to the 
• convention by Mr. Outlaw, as to whether the Legislature should consist 
of two houses. This question being decided in the affirmative, another 
question was raised by Mr. McNairy as to whether the two houses in the 
Legislature should be of equal numbers and of equal powers. This ques- 
tion, being decided in the affirmative, was the next day reconsidered on 
motion of Mr. McXairy, and amended so as to read as follows: Li b>u 
of the words ''two houses," insert "one House of Representatives," and 
that no bill or resolution shall be passed unless by two thirds of the 
whole number of members present. Tl].is proposed form of the legisla- 
tive branch of the government was, upon reflection, no more satisfactory 
than "two houses of equal numbers and powers," and on the 20th of Jan- 
uary the convention again resolved itself into committee of the whole on 
this question; and Mr. Robertson, chairman of the committee, reported 


that "the Leofislature shall consist of two branches, a Senate and a House 
of Represenatives, organized on the principles of the constitution of North 
Carolina, to be elected once in two years ; and that the members of each 
house be elected by the same electors, and that the qualifications of the 
members of each house be the same, until the next enumeration of the 
people of the United States, and then to be represented by members, re- 
taining the principle of two representatives to one senator ; provided the 
ratio shall be such as that both shall not exceed forty until the number 
of the people exceed 200,000, and that the number shall never exceed 

Although in the report of the proceedings of the convention no further 
reference is made to discussions upon this part of the constitution, yet on 
January 30, when the draft of the constitution was considered in com- 
mittee of the whole, this clause is found to have undergone considerable 
change. It was then provided that the General Assembly should consist 
of a Senate and a House of Representatives, the former to consist of one 
and the latter of two members from each county, to continue thus for 
sixteen years from the commencemeat of the second session, and after 
that representation should be apportioned according to numbers in such 
manner that the whole number of senators and representatives should not 
exceed thirty-nine until the number of free white persons should be 
200,000, and after that (preserving the same ratio of two representatives 
to one senator) the entire number of senators and representatives should 
never exceed sixty. As finally adopted on February 4, 1796, this portion 
of the constitution assumed the following form: 


Section 1. The legislative authority of this State shall be vested in a General As- 
sembly, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives, both dependent on 
the people. 

Sec. 2. Within three years after the first meeting of the General Assembly, and with- 
in every subsequent term of seven years, an enumeration of the taxable inJiahitanis shall 
be made in such manner as shall be directed by law. The number of representatives shall 
at the several periods of making such enumeration be fixed by the Legislature, and appor- 
tioned iiii'ong the several counties according to the number of taxable inhabitants in each, 
und shall never be less than twenty-two, nor greater than twenty-six, until the number of 
taxable inhabitants shall be 40,000; and after that event at such ratio that the whole num- 
ber of representatives shall never exceed forty. 

Sec. 3. The number of senators shall at the several periods of making the enumera- 
tion before mentioned be fixed by the Legislature, and apportioned among the districts, 
formed as hereinafter directed, according to the number of taxable inhabitants in each, 
and shall never be less than one-third, nor more than one-half of the number of representa- 

Sec. 4. The senators shall be chosen by districts, to be formed by the Legislature, 
each district containing such a number of taxable inhabitants as shall be entitled to elect 


not more than three senators. When a district shall be composed of two or more counties 
they shall be adjoining, and no county shall be divided in forming a district. 

Thus was concluded perhaps the most important part of the work of 
the convention. It is doubtless more curious than profitable to reflect 
upon what would have been the consequences to the people of the State 
had either of the earlier propositions been adopted — ^to form a Legislature 
consisting of two houses of equal power and numbers, or of "one House 
of Representatives." It is an interesting study, however, to note the 
varying forms this subject assumed in the minds of those primitive con- 
stitution builders, illustrating as it does the general principle that the 
wisest form or course is seldom that first suggested to the mind. There 
are other features in this constitution, declared by JefPerson to be the 
"least imperfect and most republican" of the systems of government 
adopted by any of the American States, worthy of especial comment. 
Several of its features or principles had previously been enacted into laws 
by North Carolina. So far as those laws are concerned these principles 
had their origin in the demands of the times, or the necessities of the 
people ; and experience, that great teacher of the wise legislator, had de- 
termined their wisdom by demonstrating their adaptability to the ends 
they were designed to subserve. This adaptability being thus clearly 
proven by experience, the principles were embodied in the constitution 
for the purpose of conferring upon the people with certainty the benefits 
to be derived from their operation, and of placing them beyond the power 
and caprice of Legislatures ; for it is worthy of remark that the present, 
no matter how much confidence it may possess in its own wisdom and in 
that of the past, has very little respect for that of the future. One of 
these principles was enacted into a law, in 1777, by the Legislature of 
North Carolina, as follows: "That every county court shall annually se- 
lect and nominate a freeholder, of suifficient circumstances, to execute the 
ofl&ce of sheriff, who shall thereupon be commissioned by the governor, 
or commander-in-chief, to execute that office for one year." The Con- 
stitution of Tennessee, Article VI, Section 1, reads as follows: "There 
shall be appointed in each county, by the county court, one sheriff, one 
coroner, one trustee, and a sufficient number of constables, who shall Laid 
their offices for two years. They shall also have power to appoint one 
register and one ranger for the county, who shall hold their offices during 
good behavior. The sheriff and coroner shall be commissioned by the 
governor." In 1784 the Legislature of North Carolina passed the fol- 
lowing law: 

Whereas, It is contrary to the spirit of the constitution and the principles of a gen- 
uine republic that any person possessing a lucrative office should hold a seat in the Gen- 
eral Assembly; 


Therefore, he it enacted, etc., That from and after the present session of the General As- 
sembly, every person holding a public office of profit, either by stated salary or commis- 
sions, shall be and they are hereby declared to be incapable of being elected a member to 
serve in the General Assembly, or to enjoy seats therein." 

This principle was embodied in the constitution of Tennessee in the 
followino^ form: "No person, who heretofore hath been or hereafter may 
be a collector or holder of public monies, shall have a seat in either house 
of the General Assembly." The next section was of similar import. In 
the year 1785 North Carolina passed the following law: "That from and 
after passing of this act the several county courts of pleas and quarter 
sessions within this State shall have, hold and exercise jurisdiction in all 
actions of trespass in ejectment, formedon in descender, remainder and 
reverter, dower and partition, and of trespass quare clausitm f regit, any 
law to the contrary notwithstanding," etc. 

The constitution of Tennessee, Article Y, Section 7, provides that "the 
judges or justices of the inferior courts of law shall have power in all civil 
cases, to issue writs of certiorari, to remove any cause or a transcript 
thereof from any inferior jurisdiction into their court, on sufficient cause 
supported by oath of affirmation." North Carolina enacted in 1780 that 
the public tax on each and every poll should equal the public tax on 300 
acres of land. The constitution of Tennesee, Article I, Section 26, pro- 
vides that "no freeman shall be taxed higher than 100 acres of land, and 
no slave higher than 200 acres on each poll." But perhaps the most re- 
markable feature of this constitution was that respecting the tax to be 
levied on land, in the following language: "All lands liable to taxation 
in this State, held by deed, entry or grant, shall be taxed equally and 
uniformly in such manner that no 100 acres shall be taxed higher than 
another, except town lots," etc. 

It is not certain whence this idea was derived. It is not to be found 
in the constitution of North Carolina, nor in that of any of the other 
States. It probably originated in the Territorial Legislature of 179-1, in 
which, as will be seen by reference to the preceding pages, the most se- 
rious contest occurred over the question of what the tax should be upon 
eac]} too acres of land, whether 12i cents, 18 or 25 cents, the decision 
beitig finally in favor of 25 cents. The idea of taxing lands according to 
quantity instead of according to value was probably derived from the 
fact of the equal value of the lands at that time, and was suggested to 
the constitutional convention of 1796 by the course pursued by the Ter- 
ritorial Legislature of 1794. At any rate it was embodied in the fii'st 
constitution of this State, where it remained an anomalous feature, work- 
ing greater and greater injustice, as lands became more and more un- 
equal in value, until the adoption of the constitution of 1834, when the 


principle was adopted of taxing lands as well as other property according 
to their value. 

With reference to the qualifications of electors the constitution of 
Tennessee provided that "Every freeman of the age of twenty-one years 
and upwards possessing a freehold in the county wherein he may vote, 
and being an inhabitant of this State, and every freeman being an in- 
habitant of any one county in this State six months immediately pre- 
ceding the election, shall be entitled to vote for members of the Gen- 
eral Assembly for the county in which he may reside." This was a step 
considerably in advance of the provisions of the North Carolina constitu- 
tion, which required an elector to be a freeman, a resident of the county 
twelve months, and to be possessed of a freehold of fifty acres in the 
county in which he resided, to qualify him to vote for senator. To be 
qualified to vote for representative he was required to have been a resi- 
dent of his county twelve months, and to have paid public taxes. But it 
will be observed that under both these constitutions colored men, if free, 
could vote. 

Then in reference to the qualifications of ofl&ce-holders, the constitu- 
iion of Tennessee provided, like that of North Carolina, that no clergy- 
man or preacher of the gospel should be eligible to a seat in either house 
of the General Assembly. With regard to the religious qualification of 
office-holders in general, it is interesting to note the advance made in 
public opinion during the twenty years from 1776 to 1796. In the North 
Carolina constitution it was provided that "No person who shall deny 
the being of God, or the truth of the Protestant religion, or the divine 
authority of either the Old or New Testament, or who shall hold religious 
principles incompatible with the freedom or safety of the State, shall be 
capable of holding any office or place of trust or profit in the civil de- 
partment of this State." The constitutional convention of Tennessee, 
when discussing this question, evidently had the constitution of North 
Carolina before them, and were determined to improve upon that instru- 
ment. When the first draft of the constitution was presented, January 
30, 1796, no reference was made to religious qualifications for office- 
holders ; but on February 2, Mr. Doherty moved, and Mr. Roan seconded 
the motion, that the following be inserted as a section in the constitution : 
"No person who publicly denies the being of God, and future rewards 
and punishments, or the divine authority of the Old and New Testaments, 
shall hold any office in the civil department in this State;" which was 
agreed to. Mr. Carter then moved, and Mr. Mitchell seconded the motion, 
that the words "or the divine authority of the Old and New Testaments" 
be struck out, which being objected to, the yeas and nays were called for, 


and resulted in an affirmative victory by a vote of twenty-seven votes to 
twenty-six. Afterward the word " publicly " was struck out, and tliis 
section of the constitution was adopted in the following form: "No person 
who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punish- 
ments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this State." 

One or two features of the bill of rights are deemed worthy of notice 
in this connection. The twenty-ninth section^ adopted through the 
efforts of William Blount, was as follows: "That an equal participation 
of the free navigation of the Mississippi is one of the inherent rights of 
the citizens of this State ; it cannot, therefore, be conceded to any prince, 
potentate, power, person or persons whatever." Section 31 was as 
follows: " That the people residing south of French Broad and Hols- 
ton, between the rivers Tennessee and Big Pigeon, are entitled to the 
right of pre-emption and occupation in that tract." It is stated that the 
name "Tennessee" was suggested as the name of the State by Andrew 
Jackson, the members from the county of Tennessee consenting to the 
loss of that name by their county, on condition that it be assumed by 
the State. 

The president of the convention was instructed to take the constitu- 
tion into his safe keeping until a secretary of State should be appointed 
under it, and then to deliver it to him. The president was also instructed 
to send a copy of the constitution to the Secretary of State of the United 
States; and he was also instructed to "issue writs of election to the 
sheriffs of the several counties, for holding the first election of 
members of the General Assembly and a governor, under the au- 
thority of the constitution of Tennessee, to bear teste of this date.'' 
(February 6, 1790.) On the 9th of February a copy of the constitution 
was forwarded to the Secretary of State, Mr. Pickering, by Joseph 
McMinn, who was instructed to remain at the seat of the Federal Gov- 
ernment long enough to ascertain whether members of Congress from 
Tennessee would be permitted to take their seats in Congress. Mr. 
White, who was then territorial delegate in that body, was urged by- 
Mr. McMinn to apply for the admission of Tennessee into the Union. 
In response to the application of Mr. White, Congress at length passed, 
the following act, receiving the State of Tennessee into the Union: 

Whereas, By the acceptance of the deed of cession of the State of North Carolina, 
Congress are bound to lay out into one or more States the territory thereby ceded to the 
United States. 

Be it enacted, etc., That the whole of the territory ceded to the United States by the 
State of North Carolina shall be one State, and the same is hereby declared to be one of 
the United States of America, on an equal footing with the original States, in all respects 
whatever, by the name and title of the State of Tennessee. That until the next general 
census the said State of Tennessee shall be entitled to one representative in the House of 


Representatives of the United States; and in all other respects as far as they may be 
applicable, the laws of the United States shall extend to and have force in the State of 
Tennessee, in the same manner as if that State had originall}^ been one of the United 

Approved June the 1st, 1796. Jonathan Dayton, 

George Washington, Speaker of the House of Eepresentatives. 

President of the United States. Samuel Livermore, 

President of the Senate, pro. tern. 

Writs o£ election were issued by the president of the convention to 
the sheriffs of the several counties, requiring them to hold the first elec- 
tion of members of the General Assembly, and governor of the State, 
The Legislature thus elected assembled at Knosville March 28. The 
Senate was constituted as follows : From Tennessee County, James Ford ; 
from Sumner County, James Winchester; from Knox County, James 
White; from Jefferson County, George Doherty; from Greene County, 
Samuel Frazier; from Washington County, John Tipton; from Sullivan 
County, George Eutledge ; from Sevier County, John Clack ; from Blount 
County, Alexander Kelly; from Davidson County, Joel Lewis; from 
Hawkins County, Joseph McMinn. 

The Senate was organized by the election of James Winchester, 
speaker; Francis A. Ramsey, clerk; Nathaniel Buckingham, assistant 
clerk ; Thomas Bounds, door-keeper. The House of Representatives was 
composed of the following gentlemen: Blount County, Joseph Black and 
James Houston; Davidson County, Seth Lewis and Robert Weakley; 
Greene County, Joseph Conway and John Gass; Hawkins County, John 
Cocke and Thomas Henderson; Jefferson County, Alexander Outlaw and 
Adam Peck; Knox County, John Crawford and John Manifee; Sullivan 
County, David Looney and John Rhea; Sevier County, Spencer Clack 
and Samuel Newell ; Sumner County, Stephen Cantrell and William Mont- 
gomery; Tennessee County, William Fort and Thomas Johnson; Wash- 
ington County, John Blair and James Stuart. James Stuart was chosen 
speaker; Thomas H. Williams, clerk; John Sevier, Jr., assistant clerk, 
and John Rhea, door-keeper. 

The two houses being thus organized met in the representatives 
chamber, to open and publish the returns of the election in the several 
counties for governor. From these returns it appeared that "citizen 
John Sevier is duly and constitutionally elected governor of this State, 
which was accordingly announced by the speaker of the Senate, in pres- 
ence of both houses of the General Assembly. On the same day a joint 
committee was appointed "to wait on his Excellency, John Sevier, and 
request his attendance in the House of Representatives, to-morrow, at 12 
o'clock, to be qualified agreeably to the constitution of the State of Tennes- 


see." Gov. William Blount was requested to be present at tlie quali- 
fication of the governor elect, and on March 30, "both houses having 
convened in the representative chamber, the several oaths prescribed 
for the qualification of the governor were duly administered to him 
by the honorable Joseph Anderson." After his inauguration Gov. 
Sevier presented the following address: 

Oentlemen of the. Senate and House of Representatives: 

The high and honorable appointment conferred upon me by the free suffrage of my 
countrymen, fills my breast with gratitude, which, I trust, my future life will manifest. 
I take this early opportunity to express, through you, my thanks in the strongest terms of 
acknowledgment. I shall labor to discharge with fidelity the trust reposed in me; and if 
such my exertions should prove satisfactory, the first wish of my heart will be gratified. 
Gentlemen, accept of my best wishes for your individual and public happiness; and, rely- 
ing upon your wisdom and patriotism, I have no doubt but the result of your deliberations 
will give permanency and success to our new system of government, so wisely calculated to 
secure the liberty and advance the happiness and prosperity of our fellow citizens. 

John Sevier. 

The duty of electing United States Senators for Tennessee still re- 
mained unperformed. The mode adopted at that time was as follows: 
The following message was sent by the House to the Senate: "This 
House propose to proceed to the election of two senators to represent this 
State in the Congress of the United States; and that the Senate and 
House of Representatives do convene in the House of Representatives 
for that purpose to-morrow at 10 o'clock; and do propose Mr. William 
Blount, Mr. William Cocke and Mr. Joseph Anderson, as candidates for 
the Senate." The Senate replied by the following message: "We 
concur with your message as to the time and place for the election by 
you proposed, and propose Dr. James White to be added to the nomin- 
ation of candidates for the Senate." On the next day the names of Jo- 
seph Anderson and James White were withdrawn, leaving only William 
Blount and AVilliam Cocke as candidates, who were thereupon duly and 
constitutionally elected the first United States senators from Tennessee. 
Addresses were prepared by committees appointed for that purpose to 
William Blount as retiring governor, and as senator elect, and to William 
Cocke as senator elect, to which both these gentlemen appropriately replied. 
William Maclin was elected Secretary of State ; Landon Carter, treasurer 
of the districts of Washington and Hamilton, and William Black, treasurer 
of the district of Mero. John McNairy, Archibald Roane and Willie 
Blount, were elected judges of superior courts of law and equity. This 
election occurred April 10. John McNairy and Willie Blount declined 
the appointment, and Howell Tatum and W. C. C. Claiborne were com- 
missioned in their places respectively. John C. Hamilton was appointed 
attorney for the State, in place of Howell Tatum, appointed judge. 

'J ^ 

JOHN Sevier 


On the 14tli of April a curious piece of legislation was attempted in 
the House of Eepresentatives : "The bill to preclude persons of a certain 
description from being admitted as witnesses, etc., was then taken up, to 
which Mr. Gass proposed the following amendment: 'That from and 
after the passing of this act, if anj person in this State shall publicly 
deny the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments, 
or shall publicly deny the divine authority of the Old and New Testa- 
ments, on being convicted thereof, by the testimony of two witnesses, 

shall forfeit and pay the sum of dollars for every such offense, etc' 

The foregoing amendment being received the question was taken on the 
amended bill which was carried. "Whereupon the yeas and nays were 
called upon by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Gass, which stood as follows: 
Yeas: Messrs. Blair, Black, Conway, Clack, Crawford,* Gass, Houston, 
Johnson, Looney, Montgomery, Newell, Outlaw, Peck and Weakly — 14. 
Nays: Messrs. Cantrell, Cocke, Fort, Henderson, Lewis, Manifee, Khea 
— 7. Mr. Lewis entered the following protest: "To this question we 
enter our dissent, as we conceive the law to be an inferior species of per- 
secution, which is always a violation of the law of nature, and also that 
it is a violation of our constitution. Setli Lewis, John Cocke, William 
Fort, John Ehea, Stephen Cantrell, John Manifee, Thomas Henderson." 
On the IGtli of April this question came up in the Senate, where the 
following proceedings were had: "Ordered that this bill be read, which 
being read was on motion rejected." On the 22d of April, both houses 
of the General Assembly being convened in the representatives' chamber, 
proceeded to ballot for four electors to elect a President and Vice-Pres- 
ident of the United States, when the following gentlemen were chosen: 
Daniel Smith, Joseph Greer, Hugh Neilson and Joseph Anderson. Attor- 
neys-general were also similarly elected on the same day ; for Washing- 
ton District, Hopkins Lacey; Hamilton District, John Lowrey; Mero 
District, Howell Tatum. 

The above mentioned action of the General Assembly, in electing four 
electors, was in accordance with a law passed by which it was provided 
that the General Assembly should, from time to time, by joint ballot, 
elect the number of electors required by the constitution of the United 
States. The error was in supposing that the State was entitled to two 
representatives in Congress as well as two Senators, and in accordance 
with this supposition an act was passed April 20, 1796, dividint^ the 
State in two divisions, the first to be called the Holston Division, and to 
be composed of the districts of Washington and Hamilton ; the second to 
be called Cumberland Division, to be composed of Mero District ; each of 
which divisions should be entitled to elect one representative to Cono-ress. 


When it was learned that Tennessee was entitled to only one representa- 
tive in Congress, Gov. Sevier convened the Legislature in extra session 
to meet on the 30th of July for the purpose of making an alteration in 
the act directing the mode of electing representatives to Congress; "for 
by a late act of Congress the intended number of our representatives is 
diminished, of course it proportionably lessens our number of electors for 
President and Vice-President of the United States." In accordance with 
the necessities of the situation and the recommendations of the governor, 
the Legislature on the 3d of August, passed the following law: 

"Be it enacted, etc. : That an election shall be held at the respective court houses in each 
county in this State on the first Tuesday in October next and on the day next succeeding, 
to elect one representative to represent this State in the Congress of the United States. " 

In an act passed October 8 provision was made for the election of elec- 
tors for the districts of Washington, Hamilton and Mero, one for each dis- 
trict. William Blount and William Cocke were again elected senators 
to Congress, and under the act providing for the election of electors of 
President and Vice-President, the State was divided into three districts, 
Washington, Hamilton and Mero, and three persons from each county in 
each district were named to elect the elector for their respective districts. 
The electors named in the act were to meet at Jonesborough, Knoxville, 
and Nashville, and elect an elector for each district, and the three elec- 
tors thus elected were to meet at Knoxville on the first Wednesday in 
December, "to elect a President and Vice-President of the United 
S bates, pursuant to an act of Congress. Andrew Jackson was elected 
representative from Tennessee to the Congress of the United States, and 
when that body assembled at Philadelphia, December 5, 1799, Mr. Jack- 
son appeared and took his seat. 

On the 31st of January, 1797, an act was passed by Congress giving 
effect to the laws of the United States within the State of Tennessee. 
By the second section of this act the State was made one district, the 
district court therein to consist of one judge who was required to hold 
four sessions annually, three months apart, and the first to be held on 
the first Monday of April, the sessions to be held alternately at Knox- 
ville and Nashville. This judge was to receive an annual compensation 
of $800. By the fourth section of this act, the entire State of Tennessee 
was made one collection district, the collector to reside at Palmyra, 
"which shall be the only port of entry or deliver}^ within the said district 
of any goods, wares and merchandise, not the growth or manufacture of 
the United States; and the said collector shall have and exercise all the 
powers which any other collector hath, or may legally exercise for col- 
lecting the duties aforesaid; and in addition to the fees by law provided. 


shall be paid the yearly compeusatiou of one hundred dollars." At the 
election of August, 1797, John Sevier was again elected governor ; and 
a Legislature, consisting of eleven senators and twenty-two representa- 
tives from the thirteen counties then in existence, was chosen, Grainger 
and Hawkins sent Joseph McMinn, Senator, and Eobertson and Mont- 
gomery sent James Ford. James White was elected speaker of the Sen- 
ate; George Koulstone, principal clerk; and N. Buckingham, assistant 
clerk ; James Stuart was elected speaker of the House ; Thomas H. Will- 
iams, clerk; Jesse Wharton, assistant clQi'k, and John Ehea, door-keeper. 
On the 3d of December, 1798, the second session of the Second Gen- 
eral Assembly convened at Knoxville. James Eobertson was elected 
senator in place of Thomas Hardeman, who had resigned. William 
Blount appeared from Knox County in place of James White, resigned. 
William Blount was elected speaker of the Senate, George Eoulstone, 
clerk, and N. Buckingham assistant clerk. It was at this session of the 
Legislature that the number of senators was increased to twelve and the 
number of representatives to twenty-four by a law passed January 5, 
1799. Section 2 of the act provided that there should be four sen- 
ators and eight representatives from Washington District. Washington 
and Carter Counties were made one senatorial district, and Sullivan, 
Greene and Hawkins Counties each had one senator, while Carter and 
Hawkins Counties each had one representative, and Washington, Sulli- 
van and Greene each had two. Hamilton District was divided as fol- 
lows : Knox and Grainger each had one senator, Blount and Sevier had 
one, and Jefferson and Cocke one ; Knox and Grainger had two representa- 
tives each, while the other counties in the district had one each. Mero 
District — Davidson County had two senators and three representatives; 
Sumner County one senator and three representatives; and Eobertson 
and Montgomery Counties one senator from both counties and one rep- 
resentative from each. The first session of the General Assembly elected 
according to the provisions of this act began at Knoxville, September 16, 
1799. Alexander Outlaw was chosen speaker of the Senate, and John 
Kennedy, clerk. William Dickson was chosen speaker of the House, and 
Edward Scott, clerk. 

The first constitution of Tennessee had been so wisely constructed as 
to subserve its purj^ose for forty years without urgent necessity being 
felt for its revision. But in 1S33, in response to a demand in various 
directions, for its amendment, the Legislature passed an act, under date 
of November 27, providing for the calling of a convention. The act pro- 
vided that the convention should consist of sixty members, who should 
be elected on the fii'st Thursday and Friday of March following, and that 


it should meet at Nasliville on the third Monday of May. The conven- 
tion having assembled May 19, 1834, Willie Blount, of Montgomery 
County, was made temporary chairman, and immediately afterward Will- 
iam B. Carter, the delegate from Carter County, was elected president. 
Mr. Carter, in the course of his speech acknowledging the honor con- 
ferred upon him, said "the great principle which should actuate each indi- 
vidual in this convention is to touch the constitution with a cautious and 
circumspect hand, and to deface that instrument, formed with so much 
wisdom and foresight by our ancestors, as little as possible, and should 
there be in that sacred charter of liberty some articles or features of 
doubtful policy, prudence requires that we should better let it remain 
than to launch it into a sea of uncertainty when we cannot perhaps better 
its condition." The Rev. James C. Smith, of the Cumberland Presby- 
terian Church of Nashville, pronounced a solemn and appropriate prayer. 
William K. Hill was made secretary of the convention, and William T. I. 
Morrow assistant secretary, the latter by a yea and nay vote of fifty-one 
to nine. Ministers of the gospel and editors of Tennessee newspapers 
were admitted to seats within the bar of the house. Various committees 
were appointed, each committee to bring forward amendments on some 
specific department of the constitution — the first the Bill of Rights, the 
second the Judicial Department, the third the Legislature, etc. The 
Bill of Rights in the new constitution remained substantially the same 
as in the old. Its position was changed from that of the eleventh article 
to that of the first, and the first change was in the seventeenth section, 
from which is the following sentence: "Suits may be brought against 
the State in such manner and in such courts as the Legislature may by 
law direct, provided the right of bringing suit be limited to citizens of 
this State," the proviso being omitted. In the nineteenth section the 
sentence " and in all indictments for libels the jury shall have a right to 
determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in 
other cases," the word " criminal " was inserted in the last phrase, so 
as to cause it to read "as in other criminal cases." Section 26, 
reading that "the freemen of this State shall have a right to keep and 
bear arms for the common defense," was changed so as to read that 
"the free white men," etc. Section 31, describing the boundaries 
of the State, was amended by the following additional words: "And 
provided also that the limits and jurisdiction of this State shall extend 
to any otiier lands and territory now acquired or that may hereafter be 
acquired by compact or agreement with other States or otherwise, al- 
thougli the land and territory are not included within the boundaries 
hereinbefore designated." 


In the constitution proper, Article I in the old constitution became 
Article II in the new, and two new sections were prefixed thereto. 
These new sections provided that the government should be divided into 
three distinct departments, Legislative, Executive and Judicial, and that 
no person belonging to one of these departments should exercise any of 
the powers belonging to either of the others except in certain specified 
cases. Section 4 of this second article provides that an enumeration 
of the qualified voters should be made every ten years, commencing in 
1841, instead of an enumeration of the taxable inhabitants every seven 
years, and Section 5 provides that representatives shall be appointed 
according to the number of qualified voters instead of the taxable inhabi- 
tants, and the number of representatives was limited to seventy-five until 
the population of the State became 1,500,000, and after that event the 
number should never exceed ninety-nine, and the number of senators 
was limited to one-third of the number of representatives. Under the 
old constitution no man was eligible to a seat in the General Assem- 
bly unless he possessed, in his own right, at least 200 acres of land. 
From the new constitution this requirement was omitted. Section 20, 
Article I, of the old constitution limited the pay of legislators to $1.75 
per day, and no more than that sum for every twenty-five miles of travel 
to and from the place of meeting. This was changed in the new consti- 
tution so that each member was allowed $4 per day, and $4 for 
every twenty-five miles of travel to and from the seat of government. 

In the old constitution the governor was required to possess a free- 
hold estate of 500 acres of land, and to have been a citizen of the State 
four years. In the new constitution he was required to be at least thirty 
years of age, to be a citizen of the United States, and to have been a 
citizen of Tennessee at least seven years next preceding the election, the 
property qualification being omitted. The article on the qualifications 
of electors was changed so as to read "every free white man of the age 
of twenty-one years, being a citizen of the United States, and of the 
county wherein he may offer to vote six months next preceding the day 
of election, shall be entitled to vote for members of the General Assem- 
bly and other civil officers for the county or district in which he may re- 
side; provided that no person shall be disqualified from voting at any 
election on account of color who is now by the laws of this State a com- 
petent witness in the courts of justice against a white man. A free man 
of color shall be exempt from military duty in time of peace, and also 
from paying a free poll tax." Section 3 of article IX was entirely 
new, and read: "Any person who shall fight a duel, or knowingly be the 
bearpr of a challenge to fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge for 


that purpose, or be an aider and abettor in fighting a duel, shall be de- 
prived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this State." 
The new constitution established a supreme court for the State, and pro- 
vided that this court should consist of three judges, one of whom should 
reside in each of the three grand divisions of the State, the concurrence 
of two of whom was necessary in every case to a decision. It also pro- 
vided for their term of office and salary. 

The above are the principal changes made in the old constitution by 
the convention of 1834. Its labors terminated August 30, after passing 
an ordinance for an election to be held on the first Thursday and Friday 
of March, 1835, on the question of adopting the constitution it had pre- 
pared. A curious provision of this ordinance was as follows: "That no 
person shall be deemed a qualified voter in said election except such as 
are included within the provisions of the first section of the fourth arti- 
cle of the amended constitution," according to which only free white 
men were allowed to vote. Thus the convention itself assumed the right 
and exercised the power of adopting for the people a portion of the con- 
stitution, the whole of which it was preparing to submit to them for their 
ratification or rejection. This proceeding was doubtless extra-judicial, 
but was defensible, if at all, on the ground that the free colored men 
who had hitherto exercised the right of suffrage, would most probably 
-vote against their own disfranchisement, and thus, perhaps, render 
doubtful the fate of the constitution. The amended constitution was 
submitted to the people March 5 and 6, and was ratified by them by a 
vote of 42,666 for the constitution to 17,691 against it. According to 
the census of 1830 there were then in the State 4,511 free colored per- 
sons, or about 900 who, under the old constitution, were entitled to vote, 
which number had probably increased to 1,000 at the time of the adop- 
tion of the amended constitution. 

The session of the convention lasted about three months and its delib- 
erations were characterized by great earnestness, patriotism and intelli- 
gence. The future good of the State was kept constantly in view, and 
the care and caution and even jealousy with which proposed changes 
were scrutinized are sufficiently indicated by the method adopted in their 
discussion — each section being read, considered and voted upon four 
times before finally disposed of. But its crowning work was its estimate 
placed upon the value of education, and provision made for the perpetu- 
ity of the fund for the support of common schools. This estimate is 
clearly and forcibly expressed in the following language: "Knowledge, 
learning and virtue being essential to the preservation of Republican 
institutions, and the diffusion of the opportunities and advantages of 


education tliroughout tlie different portions of the State being highly- 
conducive to the promotion of this end, it shall be the duty of the Gen- 
eral Assembly in all future periods of this Government to cherish litera- 
ture and science." The provision made for the perpetuity of the common 
school fund, and the development of the educational facilities under the 
new constitution are discussed and set forth in the chapter on education. 
In 1853 this constitution was so amended as to provide for the elec- 
tion of the judges of the supreme court by the qualified voters of the 
State at large, and of the judges of the inferior courts by the qualified 
voters of the district to which such judges were assigned. An attorney- 
general for the State and attorney for the districts and circuits were to 
be elected in the same manner instead of by the Legislature. Before 
the conclusion of the civil war, a convention met at Nashville, January 
9, 1865, and completed its labors on the 26th of the same month. By 
this convention the following amendments were framed and submitted to 
ihe people 

That slavery and iavoluntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof 
the party shall have been duly convicted, are hereby forever abolished and prohibited 
throughout this State. 

The Legislature shall make no law recognizing the right of property in man. 

Other amendments were made abrogating certain features of the 
constitution of 1834, so as to make it consistent with the above amend- 
ments, and also declaring treasonable, unconstitutional, null and void, 
the declaration of independence of Tennessee, and the ordinance dis- 
solving the Federal relations between Tennessee and the United States 
-of America, passed and promulgated May 6, 1861. 

The present constitution was prepared by a convention held in Nash- 
ville January, 1870, and which ended its labors February 23, 1870. 
The first change made was in Article I, Section 4, which in the constitu- 
tion of 1834 reads: "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualifi- 
cation to any office or public trust under this State." In the constitution 
of 1870 this section reads, " No political or religious test, other than an 
oath to support the constitution of the United States and of this State, 
shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust 
under this State." Section 5 of this article, "That elections shall be 
free and equal," was amended by adding the following words: "And the 
right of suffrage, as heretofore declared, shall never be denied to any per- 
son entitled thereto, except upon conviction by a jury of some infamous 
crime, previously ascertained and declared by law and judgment thereon 
by a court of competent jurisdiction." Section 6, reading "That the 
right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate," was amended by adding 


"and no religious or political test shall ever be required as a qualifica- 
tion for "jurors." Section 8, "That no free man shall be taken or 
imprisoned or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges," etc., was 
amended by omitting the word "free." Section 18 was amended so as 
to read: "The Legislature shall pass no law authorizing imprisonment for 
debt in civil cases." 

In the legislative department of the constitution, important changes 
were made. Counties and incorporated towns were forbidden to lend 
their credit to, or to become stockholders in, any incorporation, except upon 
a three-fourths majority of the vote cast at an election upon the question, 
and the credit of the State was forbidden to be given to any company, 
incorporation or municipality. No bonds of the State can be issued to 
any railroad company, which at the time of its application for the same is 
in default in payment of interest upon the State bonds previously loaned 
to it, or that previously to such application shall have sold any State 
bonds loaned to it at less than par. In the executive department the 
principal change made was in conferring upon the governor the veto 
power. The qualifications of electors were so changed as to confer the 
suffrage on every male person of the age of twenty-one years, resident in 
the' State one year and in the county six months who had paid his poll 
tax. The supreme court was changed so as to consist of five judges 
instead of three, of whom not more than two may reside in any one of 
the grand divisions of the State. The judges themselves are required to 
elect one of their own number chief justice. 

One of the miscellaneous provisions of the present constitution is as 
follows: "The Legislature shall have no power to authorize lotteries 
for any purpose, and shall pass laws to prohibit the sale of lottery tick- 
ets within this State." A provision was also inserted under which each 
head of a family is entitled to a homestead of the value of |1,000, ex- 
empt from sale for debt, except for public taxes and the purchase price 
of the homestead, which may be retained by the widow and minor chil- 
dren so long as occupied by them. The intermarriage of white persons 
with negroes or mulattoes, or persons of mixed blood descending from a 
negro to the third generation inclusive, is prohibited under this consti- 
tution. The vote on the ratification of this new constitution was taken 
March 26, 1870, and resulted as follows: For the constitution, 98,128; 
against it, 33,872. In East Tennessee, 15,678 ; against it, 17,155. Middle 
Tennessee, 48,503; against it, 7,190. West Tennessee, 33,917; against it,. 



Growth and Development— Imperfect Agricultural Methods— Produc- 
tions FOR Market— Supply for Home Consumption— Adoption of Im- 
proved AgrioulturXl Implements— Comparison of the Tiiuee Grand 
Divisions of the State in Crops and Progress— The Staple Products— 
The Great Range of Productions and the Reason— Fruit, Grain, To- 
bacco, Cotton, Peanuts, Hay, Hemp, Flax, Sorghum, Live-Stock and 
Miscellaneous Products— Introduction of the Cotton-Gin— Purchase 
of the Patent by the Legislature— The Labor Question and the cost 
of Production — Fertilization and Statistics. 

TENNESSEE is so happily situated geographically and topographic- 
ally that her fields yield in greater or less abundance nearly every 
product of the temperate zones, and it is doubtful if any other State in 
the Union possesses equal agricultural resources. Yet the condition of 
agriculture in the State has not been so prosperous as the nature of the 
soil, the variety of the products and the salubrity of the climate should 
insure. This is due partly to the agricultural methods, which have been 
in the main quite primitive, and partly to the fact that in Middle and 
West Tennessee especially, the attention of farmers has been directed to 
one or two crops to the almost utter exclusion of all others. It is true 
that before the war these farmers were the most thriving in the State and 
that many of their farms were in a high state of cultivation and improve- 
ment, but this mode of agriculture could succeed and prove profitable 
only under a well regulated and well disciplined system of slave labor. 
The great civil convulsion which overturned the social system of the 
South wrought most disastrous changes among the land owners and 
farmers, and many years have been required for them to recover from the 
effects, and to adapt themselves to the new condition of society. 

There is a widely marked and striking difference in the three divis- 
ions of the State in the economical management of the farmers. The 
most distinguishing characteristic of the average farmer in East Tennes- 
see is the effort which he makes to supply what may be required for his 
own consumption. It is not uncommon on a small farm to see a patch of 
cotton, which the women of the household work up into cloth ; a spot 
given to tobacco for home consumption; a field of sorghum, from which 

♦Compiled from Killebrew's "Resources of Tennessee," "Revised Hand Book of Tennessee " census and 
other reports, and collected by the writer from numerous original and reliable sources. ' 


syrup is made for domestic use ; a few acres of wheat are raised for flour ; 
corn and oats or hay to feed the stock, which usually consist of a few 
sheep, to supply wool for winter clothes ; cows, from which a consider- 
able revenue is derived by the manufacture of butter, and a brood-mare 
or two, from which the farmer rears his mules and horses for farm use. 
Besides these an abundance of the staple vegetables and of all kinds of 
poultry are raised. A few bee-hives and an apple and peach orchard are 
the necessary adjunct to nine-tenths of the farms in East Tennessee. 
The most striking fact in the farming operations of that division is that 
no money crop is raised. Tobacco, cotton, corn and hay are all grown in 
small quantities, not so much for sale as for use. The amount of money 
realized by the average farmer of East Tennessee is exceedingly small, 
and yet the people in no portion of the State live so well or have their 
tables so bountifully furnished. Many a farmer, who lives like a lord at 
his table, does not realize $200 in money from his farm in a year, and 
this comes mainly from the sale of feathers, chickens, eggs, dried fruit 
and occasionally a few cattle or mules. Indeed, with their strict habits 
of economy, they have but little use for money. The wool and cotton, by 
the patient industry of the female members of the family, are wrought 
into cloth. A few hides from the beeves are tanned and made into 
shoes. Salt, coffee and sugar comprise almost the sum total of pur- 
chases, while a few dollars are required to meet the demands of the tax- 

The use of improved machinery, except in the valley lands, is impos- 
sible on the farms in East Tennessee ; consequently the implements are 
very inexpensive, and are frequently made at the neighboring blacksmith 
shop. The valley farms, however, are usually supplied with all the ma- 
chinery to be found upon the best farms in the other portions of the 
State. The growing of corn and wheat for a long period in East Tennes- 
see, without proper rotation, resting or clovering, has. greatly impaired 
the fertility of the soil ; yet there is no better land anywhere for clover, 
and the rich, red ferruginous subsoils, resting in the valleys on the lime- 
stone rock, are susceptible of being kept up to a high point of fertility 
if properly managed. Although a small minority of the farmers are 
content to plant, wox'k and gather their crops just as did their fathers 
and grandfathers before them, under the lead of a few intelligent farm- 
ers, and the inspiration of the East Tennessee Farmers' Convention, great 
changes for the better have been wrought within the past few years. 
Improved breeds of cattle, sheep and hogs, and better methods of cultiva- 
tion have been pretty generally introduced. When this spirit of progress 
and improvement shall have become general, East Tennessee will rival 


any other portion of the Union in the variety and wealth of its agricult- 
ural products. 

Unlike his brother in East Tennessee, the farmer of the middle 
division, especially in the Central Basin and the richer portions (5f the 
Highlands, aims to have in addition to the food crops, a "money crop" 
of either tobacco, cotton or peanuts. His anxiety is greater to secure the 
former than the latter, for his domestic habits are not such as to enable 
him to dispense with money to the same extent as the farmer of East 
Tennessee. As a usual rule, except in places remote from town, he does 
not manufacture his clothes at home, but buys them. He does not pay 
as much attention to the smaller industries, nor is his every day table 
supplied with such a variety of food. Milk and butter he usually pro- 
duces in abundance for home consumption, but unless in the dairy busi- 
ness he does not aim to produce a surplus for market. While his 
orchards may cover more acres, his orchard products are less remunera- 
tive. Fowls are raised in large quantities, but the money for them 
belongs to the housewife, and does not enter into his bills receivable. 
His thoughts center in his money crops, and everything, even the appear- 
ance of his farm, must yield to the imperative demands of such crops. 
He feels no disajjpointment at having no corn or pork to sell. He aims 
to make a supply. If there is a surplus he rejoices, if not, he remains 
contented. He knows and appreciates the value of labor-saving machinery, 
and his farm is usually well supplied with the best of implements. His 
work-stock are the best his purse will enable him to buy. He also 
inherits a love for a good saddle horse. He rejoices in a good cotton- 
gin, or tobacco screw, gin house or tobacco barn, and will take infinitely 
more pains to exhibit these than he will his dwelling, although his 
dwelling may be tasteful and elegant in its surroundings. He is fond 
too of a good stable, with a bounteous supply of provender, though 
stables and everything else must yield to the exactions of his "money 
crop." If a stock raiser, everything is subordinated to that, it being the 
"money crop." The possession of a heavy purse once a year is the 
dream of his existence. Energetic, thoughtful, intelligent and pains- 
taking, he prospered under a different condition of things. He prospers 
yet, when able to take the front row or to carry on his farm in a system- 
atic and orderly manner. He is not so careful of his land now as before 
the war ; he does not value it so highly. He can be tempted to rent out 
fields that in the regular order should be rested. Sometimes his clover 
seed runs short, and he prefers to let the unsown fields lie fallow rather than 
to incur further expense. He is not so particular about having his fence 
corners clean as formerlv. He is in a manner disheartened because he 


can rely upon no regular supply of labor. His enthusiasm is greatly 
chilled by the course of events, and yet he will confess that in a good 
season with good hands his profits are as great and as satisfactory as 
ever. * 

The farms in Middle Tennessee, as a general thing, are much better 
improved than in the other divisions. The dwelling houses are good, 
many of them elegant, some of them princely. Stock raising and cotton 
growing in this central basin are the favorite branches of industry. Fine 
stock, horses, cattle, hogs and sheep of the most approved breeds are to 
be found in every county. On the Highlands surrounding the basin, 
peanuts, tobacco, wheat and fruits are the favorite crops. The average 
farmer of lower West Tennessee aspires to be a planter. He loves to 
see many broad acres in cultivation. He is ambitious, industrious, care- 
less and energetic. He cares for nothing so much as to see his cotton 
fields flourishing. He does not try to raise his supplies, but stoutly 
maintains that he can buy them cheaper than he can make them. Debt 
has no such terrors for him as for the East Tennessee farmer. He will 
stake his all upon the prospects for cotton; chicken, eggs, butter, corn, 
wheat, hay, meat — all these are little things and cotton will buy them. 
Cotton is the great mogul of all the crops. It controls all and buys all. 
Land, teams, tools are as nothing, compared with the lordly bales rolled 
out from the gin house. Gullies may wash, fences may.rot, houses may 
fall to decay, but cotton must be raised. A big crop of cotton will buy 
fresh fields with virgin soil elsewhere. Taking care of land and resting 
it may do for the farmer elsewhere, but time is too valuable to be wasted 
in this way by the average West Tennessee farmer. He can and does 
spend money for fertilizers, and they are used where the cotton crop will 
get the full benefit. He will crop out his land, or rent it out, payable in 
cotton, but rarely in money. He is inclined to be more cosmopolitan 
than his brothers of the other divisions, yet he cherishes a high regard 
for his State, but would cherish it still more, if it would produce more 

In the more northern counties of West Tennessee, however, the 
average farmer is very much like the Middle Tennessee farmer. He has 
his money crop, but he takes an interest in working supplies enough for 
home consumption. He is careful of his soil, and feeds and nurses it 
with clover. He takes great delight in his corn crop until his tobacco 
plants begin to press him, then the corn must stand second in his affec- 
tions. He loves his hay fields, but his tobacco fields better. He is fond 
of rich soil and studies the aptitudes and capacities of the different vari- 
eties, and plants his various crops so that each may have the most con- 


genial soil. There is no better farmer in the State than the farmer of 
northern West Tennessee. He raises a surplus of all food crops, but 
pays little attention to the smaller industries. He is fond of good stock, 
especially good hogs, which his magnificent corn crops enable hi'm to 
rear in great quantities. He keeps up his improvements and has a 
lively faith in the future of the State. 

The many varieties of soil and the difference of elevation gi^e to Ten- 
nessee a very wide range in its agricultural products. Assuming that 
an elevation of 333 feet is equivalent, so far as temperature is concerned 
to one degree of latitude, it will be seen that the highest clime of the 
Unakas in the East differ from the low lands of the Mississippi by near- 
ly fifteen degrees of latitude ; the one having a semi-tropical climate and 
the other that of Canada. The soils do not differ less than the climate. 
Upon them can be grown the sweet potato of the South and the Irish 
potato of the North, both in remunerative quantities, and of excellent 
quality. Peaches that attain their luscious sweetness in a sunny climate 
find in the State a congenial home, where they are brought to their high- 
est perfection. Apples, upon the elevated lands, bear as profusely and 
ripen as deliciously as in the great apple growing region of Ohio or 
Michigan. Grapes of many varieties bear in unsurpassed luxuriance up- 
on the sunny slopes and rich hills in every part of the State. Plums, 
apricots, pears, nectarines and cherries flourish and yield in pro- 
fusion. Even the fig, in sheltered places, may be brought to maturity 
in the open air. Those more common, but not less useful fruits, the 
blackberry, raspberry and the dewberry are indigenous throughout the 
State. In the woods and in the fields, on poor soil and on rich, covering 
'the mountain tops and flourishing in the alluvial bottoms, the blackber- 
ry bush supplies a rich, healthy and delicious fruit, and in quantities 
sufficient to supply ten times the present population. So numerous and 
so excellent are the berries, that pickers are sent out from Cincinnati 
and from other northern towns to gather and ship the fruit. The rasp- 
berry and dewberry grow wild, and yield abundantly. The cranberry- 
grows wild in the elevated swampy places of Johnson County, and but 
for want of facilities for transportation could be made a source of great 
profit. Of the great staple products, corn should, perhaps, be ranked 
first, although as a "money crop" it is subordinate to both cotton and 
tobacco. Tennessee now ranks ninth as a corn growing State. In 18-40 
she stood first. The average annual production of this cereal is not far 
from 50,000,000 bushels. The great central basin of Middle Tennessee, 
the rich valleys of East, and the low lands of West Tennessee raise enor- 
mous crops of this grain and the quality is greatly superior to that grown 


in hio-lier or lower latitude. The grain matures earlier than in the North 
and dries thoroughly, fitting it to make a superior quality of meal, and 
it is noted for its freedom from rot. The average yield per acre for the 
State is about twenty-three bushels; but this average is low, due to the 
pernicious habit in some parts of the State of planting the same land 
year after year in this exhaustive crop without manure. Among the 
best farmers, those who practice rotation and clovering, the average yield 
is not far from forty bushels. The rent paid for some of the bottom 
lands on the upper Tennessee, is twenty and sometimes thirty bushels of 
corn per acre, and the yield often reaches seventy-five, and in some rare 
instances, 100 bushels per acre. 

Of the cereals, wheat ranks next in importance to corn. The usual 
quantity of wheat raised varies from 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 bushels, 
with a large average yield per acre. About 1,000,000 acres are sown 
annually. The best wheat growing portions of the State are to be found 
in the upper counties of the valley of -East Tennessee, the counties ly- 
ing on the north side of the Highland Rim, the northern counties of West 
Tennessee, and the rolling lands of the central basin. The average yield 
in these regions is not far from fifteen bushels. Though the yield of wheat 
is far from being what a thorough preparation of the land and early 
seeding could make it, yet the excellence of the berry compensates in 
some degree for the scantiness in the yield. The flour made of Tennes- 
see wheat commands in every market a superior price. It has been esti- 
mated that at least one-half of the fiour exported to Brazil and other 
inter-tropical countries is manufactured from Avheat grown south of the 
Ohio and Susquehanna Rivfers. There is a peculiarity in the flour 
which enables it to resist damp, and it remains fresh and sweet when 
flour made from wheat grown in high latitudes becomes sour and worth- 
less. It also has the capacity of absorbing more water, and retaining it 
in the baking process, giving a greater number of pounds of bread for a 
given number of pounds of flour. All the nutritive elements are fully 
developed in the wheat of Tennessee, and, maturing a month earlier than 
the wheat crop of New York, it commands a ready market at good prices. 
The annual production of oats in Tennessee amounts to about 5,000,- 
000 bushels. The best authorities put the yield at sixteen bushels per 
acre, but the primitive methods employed in separating the straw from 
the grain leave a large portion of the latter adhering to the straw. 
Twenty-five bushels per acre can be grown upon any soils in any j^ortion 
of the State that have not been impoverished by bad tillage. Even upon 
the thin, barren, flat lands that are found in some portions of Lewis, 
Lawrence, Coffee and other counties, oats grow with a prodigal luxuri- 


ance, as also upon the sand-stone soils o£ the Cumberland Table-land. 
Upon the richer valley and bottom lands fifty bushels per acre are not an 
extraordinary yield, and seventy-five have been made. Greene, Hawkins, 
Knox, Sullivan, Roane, Wasliington and Blount Counties in East Ten- 
nessee ; Davidson, Wilson, Montgomeiy and Sumner in the middle divis- 
ion, and Obion, Dyer and Gibson in West Tennessee furnish the best 
soils for oats. • 

While the number of acres devoted to barley in the State does not 
exceed 5,000, it is yet one of the most profitable crops grown by the 
farmer. The average yield per acre is about eighteen bushels. About 
one-third of all that is grown in the State is raised in Davidson County. 
It flourishes well in the high valleys and coves in Johnson and Carter 
Counties, and would grow well in all the rich valley lands of East Ten- 
nessee. The black lands of the central basin yield very large crops, 
twenty-five to thirty -five bushels being quite common. 

Rye is not considered a productive crop in Tennessee. Farmers 
rarely sow it, except for winter or early spring grazing, a use to which it 
is admirably adapted. It is used also to some extent as a fertilizer, and 
as it grows with vigor where corn, oats and wheat fail, it supplies a great 
Avant Tipon the thin and worked soils. The amount of land in the State 
devoted to rye is about 25,000 acres, which gives a yield of about 
220,000 bushels, or about nine bushels per acre. This yield is doubtless 
largely diminished in consequence of the excessive grazing to which it is 
subjected. The largest rye-growing counties are Marshall, Lincoln, 
Rutherford, Bedford and Davidson in Middle Tennessee, and Johnson 
and Carter in East Tennessee. West Tennessee raises but little rye, yet 
its soil and climate would insure an abundant yield. 

Only a small amount of buckwheat is grown by the farmers of Ten- 
nessee. About GO, 000 bushels is the average crop of the State, grown 
principally in Johnson, Carter, Washington and Perry Counties. It is 
not a remunerative crop, yielding only about seven bushels per acre. 

From the early settlement to the present time, sweet potatoes have 
formed one of the leading articles of food. They grow well in all 
thoroughly drained soils of the State, and where the land is friable and 
moderately fertile. Bottom lands are not usually the best for the growth 
of this vegetable ; the tendency of such places is to produce an enormous 
growth of vines at the expense of the tubers ; nor does cold, clayey land 
suit them. The flavor is greatly improved in a soil with a small adniix- 
ture of sand or fine gravel. When grown upon very rich land they are 
apt to be sappy and insipid. The annual yield is about 1,200,000 
bushels, or 100 bushels per acre. The counties raising the greatest 


quantities are Shelby, Obion and Gibson in West Tennessee; Davidson, 
Wilson and Montgomery in the Middle Division; and Knox, Bradley and 
Anderson in East Tennessee. 

Irish potatoes are not grown in sufficient quantities in the State to 
supply the home demand, although when planted upon suitable soils and 
well worked, the yield is prolific. Upon land moderately fresh and well 
fertilized, the yield can be brought up to 400 bushels per acre. Yet the 
statistics of this crop shows an average yield of only seventy-seven 
bushels, and the entire production 1,122,000 bushels. This vegetable 
grows well in every division of the State, and especially is it brought to 
perfection in the more elevated portions. Even the Cumberland Table- 
land, though yielding sparsely of the leading crops, produces the Irish 
potato in profusion. 

' Of the "money crops," perhaps the most important is tobacco. In 
the production of this plant Tennessee stands third among the States, 
Kentucky being first and Virginia second. The average yield per acre is 
between 700 and 800 pounds, although as much as 1,200 and even as 
high as 1,800 can be grown on the best soils in favorable seasons. Grown 
in some of the soils of Kentucky and Tennessee, it acquires a peculiar 
richness. Tough, thick, gummy and leathery in its character, it has the 
capacity of absorbing water, which makes it peculiarly adapted to the 
manufacture of strips for the English market; the tobacco known as the 
" Clarksville tobacco," and which grows on the rich red soils of Stewart, 
Montgomery, Robertson, Cheatham and Dickson Counties, is capable of 
absorbing 33 per cent of its weight in water. It is prepared for the 
English market by pulling out the main stem and packing it in hogs- 
heads as dry as possible. These "strips" are watered after reaching the 
English market, and inasmuch as the duty on tobacco is about 72 
cents per pound, every pound of water absorbed by the strips is 
72 cents in the pocket of the importer, and he is thus enabled to sell 
per pound at the same price at which he buys and still make a handsome 
profit. It is this peculiar property that gives the Clarksville tobacco such 
a high rank among the English dealers. The upper parts of Sumner, 
Trousdale and Smith, all of Macon, Clay and Jackson, and parts of 
Overton, Putnam, Wilson and DeKalb, raise a kind of tobacco not well 
suited for the manufacturer. ' It is large, leafy, coarser than the Clarks- 
ville tobacco, and is deficient in the active principle. It is principally 
consumed in the French and Spanish markets, a small quantity going to 
Italy and Germany. Obion, Dyer, Henry, Weakley and Benton Counties 
raise a very fine manufacturing leaf. It is, indeed, the finest article for 
that purpose groAvn west of the Alleghany Mountains. It is rich, silky, 


mild, of a light color, and some of it rivalling the brilliant colors of the 
fading hickory leaf. It is especially valued for bright and mottled 
wrappers. All "of this tobacco is consumed in the United States, none 
being exported on account of its high price and scarcity. This tobacco 
is not well adapted for stemming purposes, and even if it were, the price 
is too high to make its use in this manner profitable. Coffee, Warren, 
Moore, Lewis, Lawrence, Wayne, Hickman, Humphreys and Dickson, 
raise small quantities of light, mild tobacco. Nearly every county in 
East Tennessee grows enough for home consumption, and but little more. 
The quality of tobacco differs widely from that grown in the other divis- 
ions of the State. It is smaller and lighter, and not so rich in nicotine. 
The stronger tobaccos of Middle and West Tennessee contain as high as 
six per cent of that alkaloid, while that grown in East Tennessee does 
not contain above three per cent. It, however, is preferred by many on 
this account, being milder, pleasanter and more agreeable. 

The history of tobacco cultivation in Tennessee dates back to its ear- 
liest settlement. The pioneers who settled in the fertile valleys of the 
Watauga, Nollichucky, and Holston Rivers, raised tobacco for their own 
consumption; and those who planted colonies on the Cumberland during 
the last two decades of the eighteenth century brought seed from North 
Carolina and Virginia, and began its culture. Although grown for many 
years in a small way, it was not until about 1810 that tobacco began to 
form one of the great staples of the State. By 1820 7,000 hogsheads 
were annually sent in flat-boats to New Orleans and exchanged for coffee, 
sugar, salt and other commodities. The extinguishment of Indian titles 
in West Tennessee, in 1818, added immensely to the available area for 
cultivation. Prices were generally low, but the cost of production was 
scarcely appreciable. It is estimated that during the decade from 1820 
to 1830, the actual cost of growing tobacco did not exceed $1 per 100 
pounds. From 1830 to 1840 the culture was widely extended. In the 
latter year Henry County, in West Tennessee, heads the list, reporting a 
yield of 9,479,065 pounds, over 1,000,000 pounds more than any county 
at the present time produces. Smith County came next, with 3,017,012 
pounds; Sumner, 2,615,000; Montgomery, 2,549,984; AVilson, 2,313,000; 
Eobertson, 1,168,833; Williamson, 1,126,982; Rutherford, 1,084,000; 
and Stewart, Jackson and Davidson, 993,495, 859,336, and 334,394 
pounds, respectively. The entire yield for the State in that year was 29,- 
550,442 pounds, nearly 200,000 pounds more than was reported in the 
census of 1^80. The prices which prevailed in 1837 were very low, and 
many planters shipping to New Orleans were brought into debt for freight 
and charges. During the next two years the prices increased, and from 4 to 


10 cents per pound was frequently paid. In 1839 the prices were higher 
than for several succeeding years. From 1841 to 184G the prices ranged 
fi-om 2 to 8 cents, but in the latter year, on account of the Mexican war, 
the price fell to from 1 to 3 cents. In 1850 fair prices again prevailed. 
About 1834 dealers began to put up factories in Clarksville, and to pur- 
chase leaf tobacco. Several establishments for making " strips " sprang 
up shortly thereafter, and in 1840 the number of stemmeries had consid- 
erably increased. This gave renewed animation to the industry, millions 
of pounds of tobacco being annually bought in Clarksville, and prepared 
for the English trade. ^ 

The first effort to establish a market for the sale of tobacco in Clarks- 
ville was made in 1842, but it was difficult to persuade such planters as 
still adhered to the practice of pressing the tobacco and shipping it to- 
New Orleans, to consent to sell in Clarksville. It was not until Febru- 
ary, 1845, that warehouses for the inspection and sale of tobacco in casks 
were erected, and for the year ending September 1, 1845, 900 hogsheads 
were reported sold. Three or four warehouses were opened in 1846, and 
since that time they have been increased both in size and number. With 
the exception of Louisville, Clarksville opened the first inspection ware- 
house in the West. 

Nashville also was a point where some business was done in tobacco 
as early as 1835. In 1840 the receipts amounted to 4,000 hogsheads, 
and for the next ten years remained stationary, varying from 4,000 to 
5,000 hogsheads annually. About 1850 two tobacco stemmeries were 
put up, which prepared from 125 to 150 hogsheads of strips; considerable 
leaf tobacco was also shipped to the New Orleans market. From 1850 
to 1860 the trade increased somewhat, reaching from 7,000 to 8,000 hogs- 
heads, the weight of the hogshead being increased about twenty per cent. 
During the war the tobacco trade in Nashville "was suspended, and did 
not greatly revive until 1872. Paris, Henry County, is also a tobacco- 
market of some importance. In 1880 it contained six factories, only 
three of which were in operation. These factories during that year put 
up about 208,000 pounds. 

In Clarksville, while the amount of sales varies somewhat with the 
success or partial failure of each crop, there is always a considerable 
amount sold loose to the factories for the manufacture of strips. In 1879 
the number of hogsheads of strips was less than for many years. In that 
year five factories in operation reported an aggregate production of 
544 hogsheads or 680,000 pounds of strips, although the usual amount 
ranges from 800 to 2,000 hogsheads. Springfield, in Robertson County, 
does a considerable business in stemminfj, and also in the manufacture of 


plug tobaccos. Nearly every town iu the tobacco-growing region, espe- 
cially if it be on the railroad, contains one or more dealers who buy leaf 
tobacco, put it into hogsheads, and ship it to Clarksville, Nashville or 

Cotton is another of the great staple products of Tennessee. Its cult- 
ivation, however, is mainly restricted to a comparatively small area, 
eighty-four per cent of the entire amount being produced in West Ten- 
nessee, and only one per cent of it in that portion of the State east of 
the Central Basin. In 1879 the county in the State having the highest 
total production was Shelby, with 46,388 bales. The county having the 
highest average production per acre was Lake, with 1,059 pounds of seed 
cotton. These counties of West Tennessee produce the best cotton grown 
in the State, and the farmers give to this staple almost their entire atten- 
tion. The uplands yield a very desirable article much sought after by 
the spinners of New England and Great Britain on account of its clean- 
ness. At the London exposition in 1851, the cotton raised by Col. John 
Pope, of Shelby County, received the medal as the best cotton known to 
the world. Lincoln, Rutherford, Giles, Williamson and Maury are the 
principal cotton-growing counties of Middle Tennessee, although it is 
produced to some extent in the whole of the Central Basin. The five 
counties mentioned in 1879 produced over 43,000 bales. 

The following are the counties of Tennessee producing the greatest 
quantity of this staple, together with the number of bales and the average 
yield per acre for 1879 the weight of the bales averaging about 475 
pounds : 

Production Average bales 
in bales. per acre. 

Shelby 46, 388 . 50 

Fayette 39,221 .43 

Tipton 21,415 .56 

Haywood 23,092 .46 

Gibson 19, 372 .53 

Madison 19,257 .42 

Hardeman 18,937 .42 

Lauderdale 13,250 .50 

Giles -...13,802 .44 

Rutherford 12,414 .38 

Carroll 11,505 .43 

Henderson 9,469 .42 

McNairy 9,419 .41 

Crockett 9,320 .52 

Maury 8,912 .41 

Dyer 8,564 .59 

Weakley 7,576 .49 

Henry 5,516 .42 

Hardin 5,345 .42 

Williamson 4,538 .38 


Obion 4,225 .58 

Lincoln 3,486 .39 

Lake 2,412 .74 

Decatur 2,169 .39 

Benton 1,801 .37 

Marshall ' 1.721 .37 

Davidson 1,333 .41 

Hickman 1,302 .42 

"Wilson 1,372 .40 

Wayne 1,207 .37 

The remaining counties each produced less than 1,000 bales. Al- 
though the average yield per acre is one-half greater than that of Ala- 
bama, and equal even to that of Mississippi, it could be greatly increased 
with proper management. The estimated cost of production per acre, as 
furnished by eleven cotton growers in as many different counties, varies 
from 14.05 to ,^16.90 with an average of ,|11.43. This cost can be ma- 
terially reduced by cultivating less land and cultivating it better, employ- 
ing less labor and thus increasing its efficiency, restoring the exliausted 
elements to the soil and thus keeping up its fertility, and by producing 
home supplies. 

It is probable that the cultivation of cotton for home consumption 
was begun with the first settlement of the State, but the amount raised 
must have been quite small. The first cotton grown west of the moun- 
tains by American settlers was planted by Col. John Donelson in 1780, 
on the east side of Stone's River, opposite Clover Bottom. Before the 
close of the Indian war fields of half an acre or an acre of cotton were to 
be seen at most of the "improvements" or settlements. The entire care 
of this crop at that time, from the planting of the seed to the slow and 
laborious process of seeding the cotton, devolved upon the women and 
children of the hoiisehold. 

The invention of the gin by AVhitney, in 1793, added impetus to the 
culture of cotton, although it was not until some time after that the 
machines came into general use. On October 22, 1803, the Gejieral Assem- 
bly of Tennessee passed an act, of which the following is the preamble : 

WiiEUKAs, It is proposed by Russell Goodricli, the agent of Elijah Whitney, the in- 
ventor and patentee of a machine for the cleaning of cotton from the seeds, commonly 
called the saw-gin, and Phineas Miller, the assignee of one moiety of the patent right to 
said machine, to sell to the State of Tennessee, the sole and exclusive right of making, 
using and vending the said machine within the limits of this State, and 

Wheueas the culture of cotton is increasing in this State, and, from the invention 
and use of said machine, likely to become a valuable staple article of exportation, it is 
expedient that the State of Tennessee do purchase from the said Miller and Whitney 
their patent right to the making, using and vending of the said new invention on the 
terms and conditions hereinafter mentioned, that is to say, that there shall be levied and 
collected by the State of Tennessee on each and every said gin which shall be used in the 
State from the passing of this act, thirt3'-st'ven and one-half cents upon each and every 


saw or circular row of teeth, which shall be used in said ^ins in each and every year, for 
the term of four years, which tax, when collected, is to be paid to the said Miller and 
Whitney or their order, first deducting the sheriff's usual commission of six per cent for 
collecting from year to year for the term aforesaid. The first payment to be made on the 
first day of November, 1804, and the last payment on the first day of November, 1807. 

The total amount paid by the State for the use of the gin. in the 
counties of Middle Tennessee, or Mero District, was ^4,517.49, after 
deducting the sheriff's commission of $288.35. Gins were used in ten 
counties as follows: Davidson, twenty-four; Sumner, nine; Williamson, 
six; Montgomery, five; Kobertson, five; Smith, five; Stewart, one; 
Dickson, one ; Wilson, four, and Rutherford, four. The following statis- 
tics show the rapid increase in the production of cotton in Tennessee from 
the beginning of the century: The crop for the ye:ir 1801 was estimated 
at 1,000,000 pounds, and for 1811, at 3,000,000 pounds. Ten years later 
it bad increased 20,000,000 pounds; in 1828, to 45,000,000 pounds, and 
in 1833, to 50,000,000 pounds. These amounts were only estimated how- 
ever, and for the last two or three periods, were undoubtedly placed too 
high, as the census of 1840 reports the crop for the previous year at 27,- 
701,277 pounds. The crop for the next four decennial years was as 
follows: 1849, 194,532 bales; 1859, 290,464 bales; 18P,9, 181,842 bales, 
and for 1879, 330,621 bales. 

The great peanut growing region of the State embraces the counties 
of Perry, Hickman and Humphreys, and portions of Dickson and Lewis. 
The cultivation of this crop was introduced into this section by Jesse 
George, of Hickman County. The seeds came from North Carolina, 
and were given to him by some relatives, who were passing through 
the county on their way West. These he planted, and finding the county 
so well adapted to their growth he ventured to raise peanuts for market. 
Obtaining a good price for these he was stimulated to a larger planting. 
His neighbors caught the infection and Humphreys soon became famous 
for the richness and superiority of its peanuts. The entire production 
of this crop in the region mentioned above reached, in the year 1872, 
680,000 bushels; of the'se Hickman raised 200,000 ; Humphreys, 250,000; 
Perry, 200,000, and Dickson, 30,000. The excessive production of that 
year reduced the price so low that the crop in 1873 was diminished to 
110,000 bushels. The prices paid th.e Nashville and Cincinnati markets 
vary from 60 cents to $2.25 per bushel, according to production and 
demand. The average yield is about forty bushels per acre. The best 
soils for peanuts are those which are well drained, and have a large quan- 
tity of intermingling gravel. 

One of the most important crops of Tennessee, and one to which it is 
peculiarly adapted, is that of hay. Although its production is small in 


comparison with its value to the farmer, it has steadily increased for the 
past fifty years, as is evidenced by the following figures taken from the 
census reports: In 1839 there were produced 31,233 tons; in 1849, 74,- 
091 tons; in 1859, 143,499 tons; in 1869, 116,582 tons, and in 1879, 
186,698 tons. The average yield per acre is not far from one and one-fourth 
tons. No State is more abundantly supplied with water-courses, and the 
hay crop of Tennessee might be made to rival that of any other State in 
the Union. But the hay growing regions are not confined to the low land 
bordering the streams ; on the northern slopes of the ridges of East Ten- 
nessee and on the rolling lands of the Central Basin, timothy grows with 
a surprising luxuriance, and upon the flat lands of the Highland River 
and in the sandy lands of "West Tennessee, herd grass finds a fitting soil 
and irrows to a heisjlit almost incredible. Knox, Greene, Sullivan, Wash- 
int^ton and Davidson are among the best hay growing counties in the 
State, Greene ranking first and Davidson second. While the average 
yield of hay for the State is small, instances are given where meadows 
favoral)ly located have yielded, for a period of ten years in succession, 
from two to three tons per acre. Of the many varieties of grasses there 
is scarcely one but that in some portion of the State can be grown with 
profit. Timothy is the best grass for hay making, and it improves all 
pastures when it is mixpd with other grasses. It does best in limestone 
land, in which the crop often amounts to two tons of hay per acre, which 
rarely sells for less than $20 per ton. 

Blue-grass is a perennial, and is essentially a pasture grass. It 
grows but on limestone lands, and to it Kentucky and several other 
States owe a large portion of their wealth. Much of the lands of East- 
ern and Middle Tennessee produce as fine blue-grass as can be grown 
anywhere, and it will ultimately cover all the limestone hills of the 
State. Several of the counties of West Tennessee will also produce good 
blue-grass. Indeed but little land exists in the State which, under 
proper management, will not grow this grass profitably, and there is no 
reason why Tennessee should not rival Kentucky in its production, 

Herd's-grass, or red top, is a hardy perennial, and is devoted to both 
pasture and meadow. For making meadow in swampy land it is regarded 
as superior to any other grass. It produces a deep, tough sod of roots 
that make a firm surface, even in muddy places, and yields a ton and a 
half of hay of good quality per acre. In well drained upland it yields 
fair crops of hay, but is not equal to clover and timothy. This grass 
finds a most congenial soil throughout West Tennessee, in many places 
attaining the height of five feet. It is probably better adapted to all the 
soils of the State than any other grass. It flourishes upon the slopes 


and in the valleys of East Tennessee, and yields abundantly upon the 
sandstone soils of the Cumberland Table-land, as well as on the rolling 
surface of the Highland River. In the Central Basin, too, it is second 
only to red clover and timothy as a meadow grass. 

Orchard-grass, also a perennial, makes hay and pasture of the best 
quality. It grows best on limestone lands, but makes good meadows on 
any rich soil. It is difficult, however, to get this grass well sodded and 
to keep it in full possession of the ground. Some of the good points of 
this grass are its adaptability to every variety of soil, its rapid growth, 
its ability to resist drought and its power to grow in the shade. 

Red clover is the most valuable of all the grasses. It not only makes 
excellent hay and pasturage, but is, also, the great fertilizer of land. It 
grows best on rich limestone lands, but may be made to prosper on any 
land which is not extremely sandy. It finds a congenial soil in the clayey 
lands of the valleys of East Tennessee, on the red soils of the Highland 
Rim and on the limestone loams of the Central Basin. Probably three- 
fourths of the land in the State will grow clover remuneratively. 

Besides the common red clover several other species are grown with suc- 
cess, the two most important of which are alsike clover and crimson clover. 
The former is a perennial and is hardier than red clover, but its yield is 
less. The latter is an annual, and is chiefly valuable as a green food. Of 
the annual grasses cultivated in Tennessee the most important is millet, 
of which there are many varieties. The first millet cultivated in the 
State was of the kind commonly termed Tennessee Millet. In a few 
years the Hungarian grass became popular, and later the Missouri millet 
became the favorite. At the close of the war the German variety was 
introduced, and soon superseded all others. These grasses all grow best 
in limestone soils, but prosper on any soil that is rich enough, and there 
is probably more hay made from them in Tennessee than from any other 
kind of grass. There are many other valuable grasses which could be 
profitably grown in the State, but which have not been very generally 
introduced. Several wild or indigenous grasses grow spontaneously, one 
of which is the barren, or prairie grass. It covered all the prairie lands 
when the country was first settled by white people. It springs up about 
the 1st of April, grows to the height of two feet, and affords good pas- 
turage from April to the 1st of August, when it becomes hard and 
woody so that stock refuse to eat it. Wherever the forest is not so dense 
as to exclude the light and heat of the sun, on the streams and table- 
lands of the Cumberland Mountains and on the sandy, flinty and siliceous 
"flat woods" of the whole State, this grass still holds possession, and is 
•a blessing to the inhabitants of all lands which are deficient in lime . 


Another indigeneous perennial grass is known as nimble will. On 
limestone lands where the forest has been thinned out, it grows up to the 
heio-ht of about fifteen inches and forms a dense mat, affording good 
pasturage for five or six months in the year. 

White clover is a spontaneous growth over nearly the entire State, 
and is luxuriant in limestone soils. Next to blue-grass it is one of the 
most valuable grazing plants, and is to the pasture what red clover is to 
the meadow. It is a hardy perennial, and withstands drouth and con- 
stant grazing. 

Crab-grass is an annual of some value for fall pasturage, but is a 
troublesome pest among growing crops, especially during wet seasons. 
When the farm is kept under a rotation of crops, however, and tilled only 
once in four or five years, the crab-grass is soon exterminated and better- 
grasses take' its place. 

In addition to the crops already mentioned there are grown in partic- 
ular localities hemp, broom corn, flax, sorghum and rice. All the garden 
vegetables are raised in abundance. Peas, beans, onions, lettuce, cab- 
bage, turnips, radishes, salsify, celery, cucumbers, butterbeans, toma- 
toes, squashes, melons, carrots, beets, egg-plant, asparagus and many oth- 
ers are found in almost every garden. 

The cultivation of hemp is chiefly confined to the counties of East 
Tennessee. The total crop in the State for 1859 was 2,243 tons, of which 
Claiborne County produced nearly one-half. The other counties produc- 
ing it in any considerable quantities during that year were Greene, Haw- 
kins, Cannon and Anderson. In 1869 Hancock County ranked first and 
Johnson second, the crops for these counties being 290 and 207 toHS 
respectively. The census reports for 1880 show no return from the hemp 
crop in Tennessee. 

The raising of flax is also confined mainly to East Tennessee, and its 
production in that locality is somewhat decreased. In 1859 the State 
produced 164,294 pounds of fibre and 9,362 bushels of seed. The reports- 
for 1879 show a total production of only 19,601 pounds of fibre, and 787 
bushels of seed, Claiborne County ranking first, having produced nearly 
one-fourth of the entire amount. 

Sorghum is now grown in considerable quantities in every county of 
the State. Since its introduction about thirty years ago, the production 
of the staple has steadily and rapidly increased, and it is now one of the 
most valuable crops raised. The entire production of sorghum for 1859 
amounted to 706,668 gallons. The counties producing the greatest 
quantities were Knox, 51,027 gallons; Blount, 38,594; McMinn, 27,252,. 
and Washington, 20,898. In 1879 the State produced 3,776,212 gallons.. 


Lincoln County ranked first with a production of 142,357 gallons, and 
Maury County second, with a production of 137,195 gallons. Wilson, 
Giles and Rutherford each produced more than 100,000 gallons. 

Some maple sugar is also produced in many counties of the State, 
although the bulk of it is furnished by East Tennessee. In 1859 there 
was produced 115,620 pounds of sugar and 71,372 gallons of molasses, of 
which latter article Sevier County produced more than one-half. 

In 1879 only 31,296 pounds of sugar and 3,688 gallons of molasses 
were produced, Grainger County ranking first and Fentress County sec- 
ond in sugar with a production of 3,040 and 2,415 pounds respectively. 
Wilson County ranked first, and Sullivan County second, in the produc- 
tion of molasses. 

There has never been sufficient attention paid by the farmers of Ten- 
nessee to the preservation of the fertility of the soil. Land has, hith- 
erto, been so easily obtained that, leaving the future out of consideration, 
it has been cheaper to buy new land than to preserve the old. But the 
spirit of improvement which, during the past twenty years, has man- 
ifested itself in every industry in the South, has developed better systems 
of cultivation, and a more intelligent appreciation of the value of fertil- 
izers. All the stable manure and other refuse matter upon the farm is 
now carefully saved by the best farmers, and is returned to the field for 
the benefit of the future crops. On account of the small amount of stock 
kept upon the average farm, the supply of stable manure is insufficient, 
and recoui'se to other fertilizers becomes necessary. Of the green crops 
used for this purpose, here as nearly everywhere else, clover holds the 
leading place. As there is but little land in the State that will not pro- 
duce clover, no difficulty is experienced in preserving the fertility of the 
soil, and in restoring fertility where it has already been impaired. The 
native or southern pea is also used to some extent as a fertilizer. 
Recently the use of artificial or commercial fertilizers has been intro- 
duced, and is rapidly becoming general. They are more largely used 
in the cultivation of tobacco and wheat than any other crop. The amount 
of these fertilizers used in the State in 1885 was estimated at from 
10,000 to 12,000 tons, as against about 3,000 tons in 1882. The most 
extensive fertilizer manufactory in the State is the I^ational Fertilizer 
Company, with headquarters at Nashville. The company was organized 
in 1882 with D. C. Scales as president, and W. G. Sadler as secretary 
and superintendent. Their factory is located about three miles from the 
town, and has a capacity of 10,000 tons per annum. About 25 per cent 
of these products are sold in Tennessee, the remainder being distributed 
among the other Southern States. The bone phosphate which forms the 


base of their fertilizer is obtained from the phosphate rock beds of South 
Carolina. The chemical substances, with the exception of sulphuric acid, 
are imported from Europe. The company manufacture all of the latter 
substance which they use. It is generated by the action of acids upon 
what is commonly known as "iron pyrites," which contains about 45 per 
cent of sulphur. The rock containing the pyrites is obtained in quantities 
of several hundred tons at a time, from the quarries of Georgia, Illinois 
and Wisconsin. The Memphis Fertilizer Company utilizes the refuse 
from the cotton-seed oil mills as cotton-seed hull ashes and cotton-seed 
meal, which, when mixed with acid phosphates, make an excellent fertil- 
izer, especially for cotton. There are also two or three firms in the State 
engaged in the manufacture of pure bone dust. 

Tennessee, taking the twelfth rank in the sisterhood of States in the 
number of her population, aggregating 1,542,359, according to the last 
census, takes the thirteenth position in point of the value of her live- 
stock upon farms, aggregating in value $43,651,470. With only 
8,496,556 acres of improved land, there is about one -third of the area of 
the entire State, or a little more than five acres to each inhabitant, actu- 
ally available and employed. According to the tenth census there are 
for each 100 acres eighty so employed ; only three horses, three and sixth- 
tenths milch cows, five and six-tenths of all other cattle, eight sheep and 
twenty-five swine. Considering the vast area unemployed and unre- 
claimed, embracing as it does much of the best lands of the State for the 
production of the cereals and cultivated grasses, together with the magnifi- 
cent climate and admirably watered valleys, so well adapted to stock- 
growing, notwithstanding the aggregate value of live-stock making 
a large item in the wealth of the State, the percentage appears very low 
when compared with her real capacity for the development of this great 
interest. But the State is yearly attracting greater attention among 
those engaged in stock raising, and she is certainly destined to occupy a 
foremost place in this most important branch of husbandry. 

Tennessee, while possessing fewer horses according to population than 
many other States, is second to none in the fine quality of this kind of 
stock. For the past three-quarters of a century this branch of stock hus- 
bandry, has received the attention of many of the most enlightened minds 
of the State, whose time, means and zeal have been devoted to the pro- 
duction of the highest type of the equine race. As early as 1790 many 
good horses were T)rouglit into East Tennessee, and through the influence 
of Gen. Jackson, who was one of the leaders of the turf, many of them 
were afterward brought to Middle Tennessee. Since that time some of 
the finest imported horses ever brouglit to this country have been owned 


in the State, and in the hands of skillful breeders have made Tennessee 
horses renowned throughout America. Although a few central counties, 
as Davidson, Sumner, Giles, Maury, Rutherford and others, have hitherto 
devoted the greatest amount of attention to the breeding of the finest 
horses, there are many counties which vie with them in the number and 
value of their stock. In 1880 there were fourteen counties of the State 
owning over 5,000 horses, Wilson with 9,166 ranking first, and Ruther- 
ford with 9,005 occupying the second place. These figures include only 
the horses owned upon farms. Not so much attention has been paid to 
the heavy draft horse as to the roadster, the high prices obtained for the 
latter making it more profitable to the breeder. 

The mules raised in the State are nearly equal in number to the 
horses, and many of the States further south look to Tennessee for their 
supply of these animals. In 1880 Maury County owned 8,301 mules; 
Shelby, 7,094; AVilson, 6,336; Fentress, 5,602, and six other counties 
between 4,000 and 5,000 each. 

Next in importance, if second to any other, is the cattle interest of 
the State. Yet, if the natural advantages and capabilities of the State 
are taken into consideration, this branch of stock husbandry is developed 
to a very limited extent. During the war this interest suffered more 
severely than almost any other, and it has required nearly two decades 
to recover from its effects. In 1860 the number of cattle of all kinds in 
the State aggregated 764,732; in 1870, 607,038, and in 1880, 783,634; 
an increase over 1860 of less than 20,000. The improvement in quality, 
however, has been great. Notwithstanding, some few of the improved 
breeds of cattle were introduced as early as 1834 by importations from 
England and elsewhere, nothing like a general interest was manifested 
in the introduction of improved breeds, or for the general distribution of 
the more economic and valuable variety of cattle, until within the last two 
decades. Since the war, however, the spirit of improvement has awak- 
ened the farmers of the State to a higher appreciation than was ever 
before had of the superiority of good stock over bad or indifferent. 
Many very valuable Short Horns have been brought into Middle and 
West Tennessee from Kentucky, and the Lime-stone Basin has become 
noted for its good cattle. In East Tennessee several very promising 
herds of Jerseys have been introduced into various sections of the valley, 
and the interest in stock-breeding is fast becoming general. Some 
excellent herds of Ayrshires, Devons and Holsteins are owned in various 
parts of the State, but the greatest number are found in the middle divis- 
ion. In the rougher and more mountainous regions, the native breeds, 
•on account of their natural hardiness and endurance, will undoubtedly 
continue to be raised more largely than any other. 


There is no State in the Union that in climate, physical features, and 
productions excels Tennessee in the proportion of her territory adapted 
to the successful prosecution of the important industry of wool-growing. 
The vast plateaus and extensive ridges and valleys of the eastern division 
of the State seem almost to have been formed especially for the production 
of wool, while the table-lands of the middle and western division are 
scarcely to be excelled for grazing purposes. Notwithstanding these great 
natural advantages, the aggregate number of sheep in Tennessee accord- 
ino- to the last census was only 673,117, a decrease of 204,606 in ten 
years. This diminution in the number of sheep kept is largely owing 
to the fact that there is practically no legal protection for the property 
of the flock owner from the ravages of vicious dogs. Many sheep are 
annually killed by these depredators, and farmers are thereby discour- 
ao-ed from what would otherwise be one of the most profitable depart- 
ments of husbandry. But while the number of sheep in the State has 
lar*Telv decreased, it is probable that the valuation of the flocks is fully 
equal to, if it does not exceed, that of ten years ago. This improvement in 
the quality of the stock is evidenced by the fact that although the num- 
ber of sheep in 1880 was one-fourth less than in 1870, the wool clip of 
the former year exceeded in amount that produced in 1870 by nearly 
one-half. The pioneer in the breeding of fine sheep in Tennessee was 
Mark 11. Cockrill, of Davidson County. At the great London exhibition 
held in 1819-50, where every nation in the world was represented, he was 
awarded the grand medal for the finest specimen of wool exhibited. Af- 
ter making a careful study of the wool of every country, he fearlessly 
maintained that the peculiar climate and soil and protecting agencies of 
Tennessee, would make it the best wool-growing region under the sun. 
and he proved it by wresting the premium for the finest fleece from the 
assembled wool-growers of the world. Yet with this example before th^m, 
the majority of farmers, if they raised any sheep at all, were content 
with the half -wild animal which may still be found roaming at large in 
som 3 sections of the State. In late years, however, many counties have, 
introduced in addition to the Merino, the Cotswold, Southdown and Lei- 
cester, all of which have proved profitable. 

The adaptation of the soil of Tennessee to Indian corn renders it one 
peculiarly fitted for the growth of swine, and in 1850 she took first rank 
as a hog-growing State. The following figures show the number of hogs 
reported in the State at the beginning of each decade from 1840. 1840, 
2,926,607; 1850, 3,104,800; 1860, 2,347,321; 1870, 1,828,690; 1880, 
2,160,495. This industry became well nigh annihilated during the civil 
war, but owing to the rapid reproduction of this animal, the State is now 


producing as many hogs as in 18G0. Swine are probably more suscepti- 
ble of rapid improvement, by judicious care and breeding, than almost 
any other class of domestic animals. Hence in renewing their herds, 
many of the more enterprising farmers, recognizing the importance of 
introducing improved breeds, made large importations of Berkshires, 
Poland China, Essex, Jersey Beds, and other standard varieties. These 
importations have since continued, and such is the perfection to which 
the hogs of the State are bred, it is questionable if finer specimens are 
to be found in any other portion of the United States, or in Europe. 

More or less poultry is raised or allowed to breed on all farms in 
Tennessee, but as a general rule the fowls receive but little attention. 
In East Tennessee, however, the raising of poultry for market is growing 
into an industry of considerable importance. The value of this interest 
is usually under-estimated. In 1880 there were over 16,000,000 dozen 
eggs produced, and the number of fowls in the State exceeded 5,000,000. 
The natural aptitude of the soils of Tennessee for the production of 
valuable grasses has already been noticed. That it has natural ad- 
vantages for the economical production of butter and cheese would 
almost follow as a necessary consequence. Yet so little have the dairy 
interests been developed that in 1879 Tennessee, compared with the other 
States of the Union, stood fourteenth in the amount of butter made upon 
farms, and twenty-third. in the production of cheese, while in the amount 
of milk sold to butter and cheese factories she stood the twenty-fifth, the 
amount being only 1,006,795 gallons. With natural advantages equal 
to those of the great dairy States, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, 
Tennessee has not until very recently produced butter and cheese in 
sufficient quantities to supply the home demand. Within the past few 
years, however, the establishment of creameries has given the industry a 
decided impetus, and in many counties, it bids fair to become the most 
profitable branch of husbandry. The Tennessee Creamery Company, 
with headquarters in Nashville, and operating in Middle Tennessee, has 
done much toward the development of the dairy business in that section. 
The prices paid for milk by these creameries are fully one-third more 
than are paid in New York and Pennsylvania, yet they are able to com- 
pete successfully in the markets with the butter makers of any other 
State. The following was written by a Avell known authority upon the 
subject: "Tennessee has many eminent advantages as a dairy State. 
It can make butter as cheap or cheaper than any other State, because 
good grazing lands are cheaper ; because it is the most southern State 
that grows a variety of grasses and forage jDlants ; because the climate is 
mild, and cows have access for a longer period to those succulent grasses 


which are so promotive o£ the heavy flood of milk, and consequently 
winter dairies can be carried on for a greater length of time," That the 
dairy interests of Tennessee are rapidly advancing is evident from the 
fact that the butter production for 1879 was double that of 18G9, and it 
is safe to say that the increase during the present decade will be corre- 
spondingly great. 

From the first settling of the State it has been the custom of a large 
majority of the farmers to secure a few colonies of bees as a necessary 
adjunct to a well stocked farm, but it was not until the introduction of 
improved hives, artificial swarming, movable combs and extractors that 
it was pursued as a separate vocation. At present there are many per- 
sons who engage in this business almost exclusively, and whose profits 
are satisfactory. In the year 1850 tlie number of pounds of bees-wax and 
honey reported for Tennessee was 1,036,572; in 1860, the amount of 
bees-wax was 98,882 pounds, and of honey, 1,519,390 pounds; in 1870, 
51,685 pounds of bees-wax, and 1,039,550 pounds of honey. The decrease 
for 1870 is doubtless due to the effect of the war. In 1880 the amount 
of honey reported was 2,130,689 pounds, and of wax 86,421 pounds, 
which places Tennessee first among the States of the Union in apiarian 
products. These results are due not only to the increased number of 
bees kept, but to the improved methods of handling them and to the 
introduction of Italian bees, which were first brought into the State in 
the year 1866. Tennessee has the best climate and the greatest variety 
of food for bees of any State, having all the forage j^lants of both the 
North and the South, while it has some that are not found in either. 
The climate, too, is especially adapted to bee culture, being a medium 
one with mild and short winters and agreeable summers. 

Perhaps no industry in Tennessee has made greater advancement in 
the past twenty years tlian that of grape growing, the admirable adapta- 
tion of the soil and climate to which Avas in a great measure unknown or 
neglected until since the close of the war. One of the first efforts to 
grow grapes in the State was made by P. F. Tavel, a Swiss, who came to 
Stewart County in 1844. The varieties he planted being imported failed 
to do well, and the attempt Avas abandoned under the impression that the 
climate was not propitious for the culture of the fruit. Some ten years 
later a few enterprising persons in various parts of the State, after in- 
specting the vineyards around Cincinnati, were induced to plant a few 
vines of the Isabella and Catawba varieties. Among these early pioneers 
in grape growing were James Clark and Rebecca Dudley, of Montgom- 
ery County, who, long before wine making in Tennessee was thought 
possible, planted and successfully managed several acres of vines, and 


made wine that by reason of its excellence and flavor soon became famous 
throughout the country. The varieties they planted, however, were not 
suited to the latitude, and the frequent failures of their vineyards in- 
duced the belief that Tennessee could never be made a grape growing 
State. For a time they even were discouraged, but eventually came to 
the conclusion that the failures arose rather from the unsuitableness of 
the varieties than from the nature of the location, soil or climate. Act- 
ing upon this belief some new kinds, among which were the Ives Seedling 
and Concord, were planted and were found to thrive so well that the old 
vineyards were abandoned. Since that time grapes have been very suc- 
cessfully and profitably grown in nearly every section of the State. 
Several different varieties are planted, but for wine the two above named 

From the days of the earliest settlers, even among the Indians, excel- 
lent apples have been grown in Tennessee, and there is scarcely a county 
in the State that, with proper cultivation, will not produce them abun- 
dantly. The most favorable localities for apples, as well as other of the 
larger fruits, are the river lands of Middle Tennessee, the great plateau of 
West Tennessee and the hillsides of the eastern division. These localities 
are equal to the most favored regions of New York and Pennsylvania. Until 
within the 'past few years the raising of apples has been mainly confined 
to the supply for domestic purposes. Most of the old orchards are stocked 
with native varieties, but new and improved late varieties are now being 
introduced, and the acreage of orchards is rapidly increasing. Several 
extensive orchards have recently been planted on the river lands in Rob- 
ertson County, and also by the Ruby community, in Morgan County. 

Of the cultivated berries the strawberry is the most largely raised, 
and it grows with vigor and productiveness in every portion of the State. 
The planting and crops of these berries in the vicinity of Chattanooga is 
said to have doubled annually for the past five years. The shipments 
of them for the season of 1882 aggregated 143,822 pounds; for the sea- 
son of 1884, 457,846 pounds, and for the season of 1885, 814,574 pounds. 
Nearly all portions of "West Tennessee, but more especially the northern 
counties, are unsurpassed for the production of this fruit, and large and 
annually increasing quantities are shipped to the cities of the North. With 
the advantages of soil, climate and transportation facilities the possibili- 
ties of this business are unlimited. 

The cultivation of raspberries, blackberries and dew-berries has not 
been extensively engaged in on account of the luxuriance and perfection 
with which they gi'ow in the wild state. Berries of the finest flavor and 
of large size grow wild along the fence-rows, in ''old fields"' and in the 



forest. For the production of all kinds of small fruits Tennessee stands 
superior to any other State in the Union. 

From the following lists of exports* from Madison County for 1884 
some idea of the extent of the fruit growing industry in West Tennessee 
may be obtained: Apples, 8,000 barrels; pears, 3,000 barrels; peaches, 
2,500 crates; plums, 550 crates; strawberries, 22,000 crates; other fruits, 
10,000 crates. 

The shipments from Chattanooga for the same season were, in 
pounds: Peaches, plums, and pears, 86,115; blackberries, 208,208; rasp- 
berries, 2,465; strawberries, 457,816; and grapes, 16,733. Tie shipment 
of peaches for the season of 1885 amounted to 446,266 pounds. 











































































S271. 358,985 




























































8 43,651,470 













Sweet Potatoes j 











tl, 036, 572 










Value ol' Orchard 






















Other Cattle 







Value of all Live 


Acres of Improved 


Value of Farms 



tWax and honey combined. 



Growth and Development Concluded— The Timber Interests— Kind and 
Quantity of Native Wood — Manufactories — Iron Products and Ship- 
ments—The Early Furnaces— The Present Enormous Returns— Min- 
eral Companies— [RON Manufactures — The Coal Consumption and Ex- 
ports—The Marble Quarries— Quality, Quantity and Market— The 
Yield of Copper Ore— The Production of Flour, Cotton and Woolen 
<rOOD8, Gunpowder, Paper, Leather, Whisky, Cotton-seed Oil, etc. — 
The Bureau of Agriculture, Statistics and Mines— What it has 

FEW States of the Union have a larger proportionate area of valuable 
timber lands than Tennessee. With a superficial area of 26,000,- 
000 acres, she has in farms a little over 20,000,000 acres, 54 per cent 
of which consists of woodland. The States having an equal or 
greater percentage of timber land are Florida, having 66 per cent; Ar- 
kansas, 65; North Carolina, 62; West Virginia, 61; Georgia, 59; Missis- 
sippi, 58; Alabama, 55; Louisiana, 55, and South Carolina, 54. If the 
value of the timber is considered Tennessee without a doubt exceeds 
"them all. In her forests may be found almost every variety of tree 
known to the United States. This is due to the difference of elevation 
in the State, which produces a great diversity of climate, and to the ex- 
istence of a variety of soil. Some portions of West Tennessee are cov- 
ered with heavy forests, the magnificience of which are unsurpassed in 
America. The river swamps in this part of the State still contain large 
bodies of cypress, while the hills are covered with oaks, hickories and 
other hard-wood trees. The central portion of the State, now more 
largely cleared than either of the other divisions, was once covered with 
forests of hard wood, cc^nsiderable bodies of which still remain upon the 
land least fit for agricultural purposes, or remote from railroads. Nearly 
through the center of this middle district, extending north and south, 
the "cedar glades" occupy an extensive region. The eastern portion of 
the State is covered with a heavy forest of oak and other hard woods, 
mixed at high elevation with hemlock, pine and spruce, and constituting 
one of the finest bodies of timber in the United States. 

As a catalog and description of all the various varieties of timber 
in the State would require a volume, only a few of the most important 
will be noticed. Of the oak Tennessee has twelve or more species, the 
most valuable of which is the white oak. This tree attains an enormous 


size iu the valley of the Tennessee, and in the first and second tier of 
river counties of West Tennessee. It is found iu considerable quantities 
in many parts of East Tennessee, the best being on the ridges in the 
western part of that division, or in the counties resting against the Cum- 
berland Table-land, and also in the slojjes of the Unaka Mountains. The 
ridges and valleys lying on Duck and Buffalo Rivers are also covered 
with this tree, and it is pretty generally scattered through all the wooded 
district of the Highland Rim. The timber from this tree is used in the 
manufacture of wagons and agricultural implements and for staves and 
fence rails. White oak lumber sells at the mills for $18 to $20 per 1,000 
feet, according to demand and accessibility. 

The red oak grows in nearly every portion of the State, and furnishes 
the greater part of the staves for tobacco hogsheads and flour barrels. 
A large proportion of the charcoal consumed by the furnaces is also 
manufactured from this timber. The post oak is found in all parts of 
the State, and grows where the soil is dry, gravelly and thin. It is used 
extensively for railroad ties, being solid, tough, close-grained and hard 
to split. The chestnut oak thrives on high, poor, barren and rocky soil, 
and upon such may be found in every division of the State, but especially 
upon the leached soils of the Highland Rim. It is chiefly valuable for 
its bark, which is richer in tanning than that of any other tree. The 
black oak is found in considerable quantities in the Highland Rim, es- 
pecially those portions which have a rich loamy soil; as in Montgomery, 
and parts of Stewart and Robertson Counties. Much of this timber is 
annually made into boards and staves, many thousands of the latter being 
shipped to the St. Louis market. The scarlet oak is found in abundance 
in East Tennessee, growing in moist places. It is also found in the 
small swampy spots in Middle and West Tennessee, though not in suflfi- 
cient quantities to make it of particular interest or profit. Black jack 
oak covers a considerable portion of the "barrens," but as a timber tree^ 
it is of little value. Other species of oaks are found in the State, but 
not in sufficient quantities to make them of much worth. 

The black walnut is pretty generally distributed over all the rich soils 
of the State. Its growth is an unerring indication of fertility. It 
abounds in the Central Basin, and grows on the better part of the High- 
lands. It also flourishes on the north sides of ridges and in the valleys 
of East Tennessee, and attains a marvellous size upon the calcareo-sili- 
ceous soil of the western division. Probably no State east of the Missis- 
sippi has a greater quantity of this valuable timber. The uses to which 
it is put are familiar to all. The butternut or white walnut grows upon 
the margins of streams and is sometimes found on rich northern slopes.. 


It is scattered over almost as great an extent of territory as the black 
walnut. The wood from this tree is durable but not strong, and is some- 
times used in ornamental work for giving variety and contrast. 

Of the hickory there are six species found in Tennessee, the most 
important of which are tho scaly-bark and the common hickory. The 
latter grows well upon all soils of middling quality in the State, and is 
found in abundance in what are called the "hickory barrens," on the 
Highland Rim. It rarely attains a greater diameter than eighteen 
inches. When of this size it is worked up into axles for wagons, spokes 
and felloes for carriages, and into ax handles ; when small it is used for 
barrel and hogshead hoops and for box casings. The scaly -bark hickory 
seeks a fertile soil upon river banks and rich hill sides. It grows to a 
much larger size and splits more readily than the species described. It 
is employed for the same purposes. 

Of the two species of ash met with in the State the white ash is the 
most common. It was formerly very plentiful in every part of the State, 
but is now growing scarce, except in places remote from facilities for 
transportation. It finds its most congenial soil in the caves and north 
sides of mountains, and in the rich lands of the Central Basin and West 
Tennessee. The largest trees to be met with are in Bedford County, 
some of which have attained a diameter of six feet. The wood is highly 
esteemed by wheelwrights, carriage-makers, ship-builders and manufact- 
urers of agricultural implements, and is especially valuable for flooring. 
The green or blue ash is found only along water-courses. 

The beech is a common growth throughout the State upon the moist 
soils lying upon the streams. The most extended groves are found in 
Macon, Trousdale, Smith, Sumner, Cannon, Bedford and other counties 
of the Basin. But little of it is converted into lumber, and it is chiefly 
valuable for fuel. When seasoned the wood is extremely hard and solid. 
It is used for plow-stocks, shoe-lasts and the handles of tools. 

Chestnut is a valuable timber on account of its durability, and is 
abundant in the State. Large forests are found on the ridges of East 
Tennessee, on the sandstone soils of the Cumberland Table-land, and in 
portions of the Highland Rim, especially in the counties of Lawrence, 
Wayne, Hickman and Perry. 

Upon the first settlement of the State cedar forests were as abundant 
in the Central Basin as those of oak and poplar. The demands of the 
agriculturist, ^combined with the export trade, however, have nearly ex- 
hausted the supply in Davidson, Williamson, Sumner and Rutherford 
Counties. The best forests are now found in Marshall, Wilson, Bedford 
and Maury, covering in the aggregate nearly 300 square miles. Occa- 


sional trees of a valuable size are still seen upon the banks of a majority 
of the streams in Middle Tennessee. Nowhere else in the United States 
are there found such splendid trees of this timber. In the counties of 
Marshall and Bedford solid cedar logs have been cut that would square 
twenty-four inches for a distance of thirty feet. 

The cypress finds its most congenial home and attains its highest de- 
velopment in the swamps lying on the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, 
where it is found in coiisiderable quantities. Owing to its peculiar 
character it rarely grows in company with other trees, but stands in iso- 
lated forests, rearing its long white trunk high into the upper air, while 
its roots permeate the deep black soil, which is often covered with water 
of an inky blackness. A great quantity of cypress timber is made into 
shin<>-les and staves for sugar hogsheads and molasses barrels. Set in 
the ground it resists decay for a great while, which makes it a valuable 
timber for fencing. 

The pine is one of the most abundant, and at the same time one of 
the most valuable of the forest growths of the State. There are two 
species, the white and the yellow. The latter grows in considerable quan- 
tities in the vicinity of Knoxville, and in many of the parallel ridges in 
the valley of East Tennessee. It is also found in extensive forests in the 
Cumberland Table-land, and forms considerable belts in Hardin and 
Lawrence Counties. Patches are found on the south hill-sides of Wayne, 
and in less quantities in several counties of the Highland Rim and West 
Tennessee. It abounds on poor soils, those usually of sandstone, but often 
on red clay with gravel. It takes possession of abandoned old fields, and 
grows with rapidity when the soil is too sterile to produce other vegeta- 
tion. In the regions where it abounds it forms the principal timbers for 
domestic purposes. The white pine is not so abundant as the preceding ; 
it is distributed in greater or less quantities over the slopes of the Unaka 
Mountains, and is found locally on the Cumberland Table-land. It grows 
to a larger size the yellow pine, and makes a quality of lumber 
highly prized on account of its lightness and comparative freedom from 
resinous exudations. 

There are several varieties of poplar, known locally as blue, white 
and yellow poplar, the last named being the most valuable as a timber 
tree. This grows upon rich soils almost everywhere. The finest specimens 
in the State are to be found in Obion and Dyer Counties, West Tennessee, 
and in Maury and Macon, in Middle Tennessee. Trees twenty and twenty- 
five feetin circumference, and from sixty to seventy feet to the first limb, are 
often met with. The wealth of poplar timber is very great in almost every 
part of the State, and millions of feet are annually shipped by river and 


rail. It is more used in the construction of houses than any other wood ; 
the studding and clap-boards, sills and joints, rafters and shingles, in a 
large proportion of frame buildings being made from this timber. 

The sycamore, plane or cotton-wood is found growing on the margins 
of streams in nearly every section of the State. It grows with rapidity, 
and is troublesome on account of the sprouts that it sends up from the 
stump. The wood is used in cabinet shops, and makes a beautiful article 
of furniture. Only as a firewood is it regarded with any favor by the 
farmer, as it does not split, and speedily decays when exposed to the 

Two very different species of trees are commonly called gum ; both 
are quite abundant in Tennessee. The black gum is usually found upon 
rich, moist soils, and grows to a considerable size where the soil is favor- 
able to its growth. It is a valuable timber for hubs, and is much used 
for that purpose on account of the difficulty with which it splits. The 
sweet gum is found in wet marshy places in every part of the State. 
Large quantities of it are manufactured into plank, which is used for 
coarse work; it is cheaper than poplar but decays much more rapidly. 

The linden or bass-wood, is abundant in the blue grass region of the 
Central Basin, and in some localities in East Tennessee. As a timber 
tree it is chiefly valuable for making firkin staves. 

Black or yellow locust, flourishes iipon the slopes of the Highland 
and Cumberland Mountains, and also upon the sides of the Unakas. It 
is also found upon the north sides of Clinch and Powell Mountains, and 
grows upon the glady places of the Central Basin, where no other tree 
will survive. This tree rarely attains a greater size than one foot in 
diameter and a height of thirty or forty feet ; but it grows with rapidity 
and in ten years makes good posts or railroad ties. 

There are three species of maple found in Tennessee, the sugar- 
maple, the red flowering maple and the white maple. The first abounds 
in the coves of the mountains and on the rich bottoms of the streams. 
It formerly covered a large portion of the Central Basin, and was the 
chief reliance of the early settlers for sugar. The wood of this tree has 
a remarkable beauty. One variety of it, the bird's-eye maple, has an 
exquisite appearance, the fibres being contorted into little knots resem- 
bling the eye of a bird. This timber is still quite abundant in nearly 
every part of the State, and is yearly becoming more valuable. The red 
flowering maple grows in wet soils and on the marshy margin of streams, 
and in such localities is quite plentiful in every division of the State. 
The wood is hard and close grained. It is valuable for cabinet work, 
the most beautiful varieties selling higher than mahogany. 


Of the elm there are also three species, the white elm, the' slippery 
elm and the wahoo witch, or cork elm. The first is widely distributed iu 
considerable quantities throughout the State, and is by far the largest of 
the elms, attaining in favorable localities as much as 100 feet in height 
and 5 feet in diameter. The other two varieties are, perhaps, as widely 
distributed, but are not so abundant as the white elm. None of the 
species are of much value for either timber or fuel. 

Cotton-wood is confined almost exclusively to the alluvial bottoms of 
the Mississippi in West Tennessee. It grows very large, towering high 
in the air, darkening the landscape with its thick foliage. The wood is 
white, soft and easily cut. Its chief value is for fuel, being used in 
great quantities by the steam-boats that ply on the Mississippi. 

Of the firs there are two species found in the State, the balsam fir 
and the black fir or spruce. Some of the highest mountain peaks are 
covered with the former variety, which is seldom met with at a lower 
elevation than 4,000 feet. The dark foliage of the tree has given the 
name to the Black Mountains of North Carolina, and makes the charac- 
teristic feature of many .of the highest peaks of ,the Unakas. Being in- 
accessible it is 'rarely made into lumber, though the trunks often reach 
100 feet in diameter. The black fir is found in the same localities. 

As a shrub sassafras is found in every portion of the State, but most 
abundantly in the valley of East Tennessee and upon the Highland Eim. 
It is a great pest to the farmer, sometimes covering a field with sprouts 
almost as thickly and continuously as if sown. These shrubs upon their 
soil never reach the dimensions of a tree, and rarely attain a size sufficient 
for fence-stakes. In West Tennessee, however, the sassafras is one of 
the largest trees of the forest. A specimen of this species was found in 
Obion County which measured sixty inches in diameter, exclusive of the 
bark. The wood is soft, brittle and close grained, and is used for house 
studding and to some extent for the manufacture of furniture. 

The trees mentioned constitute the great bulk of the timber in Ten- 
nessee, but there are many other varieties which have a special interest. 
Among them are the buck-eye, mulberry, wild cherry, dogwood, tupelo, 
pecan, catalpa, cucumber, laurel, holly, hornbeam, box elder, chinqua- 
pin, crab apple, hackberry, v/illow, birch and persimmon. 

The development of the manufacturing and other industrial enter- 
prises in Tennessee since the close of the civil war has been almost 
unprecedented, and especially is this true of the lumber business. No 
trade during the past twenty years has exhibited a more uniform and 
substantial growth than that embraced in the manufacture and distribu- 
tion of lumber, and no industry with the exception of iron, gives employ- 


ment to a greater number of persons and requires a larger investment of 
capital. The principal center of this industry in the State is Nashville, 
which now ranks fifth in the importance as a lumber market, and third in 
size as a manufacturing center. The annual value of her lumber pro- 
duction amounts to about $5,000,000. The annual shipments of rough 
and manufactured lumber reach nearly 120,000,000 feet. It is sent to 
nearly every city in the United States, and large quantities are exported 
to London, Liverpool, Hamburg, and other European points. Although 
during later years considerable amounts have been received by rail, 
the chief supply of logs and lumber is received by the Cumberland 
Eiver, one of the greatest logging streams for its length in the world. 
The chief lumber staple of Nashville is the yellow poplar, although that 
■city stands at the head of all Southern cities as a hard-wood market, and 
has the largest trade in black walnut lumber of any market in the United 
States. It is also the distributing point for the famous Tennessee red 
cedar. The beginning of this industry in Nashville may be said to date 
from 1840, when the first steam saw-mill was erected. From that time 
until the war the lumber operations were confined almost exclusively to 
the local trade. The only shipments of any consequence were red cedar 
rafted to Memphis, Helena and New Orleans, and consisting mostly of 
railroad ties. Within the past ten years the business has developed 
wonderfully, and the volume of capital invested is annually increasing. 
In 1870 there were but three saw-mills and six planing-mills. There 
are now within the limits of the city thirteen saw-mills, twelve planing- 
mills and thii'ty-five firms engaged in the lumber trade. 

The second city in importance as a lumber center is probably Chat- 
tanooga. The mills in that city now cut annually from 14,000,000 
to 20,000,000 feet of lumber, while those in the country tributary to it 
cut not less than 100,000,000 feet more. Of this latter product about 
30,000,000 feet is handled by Chattanooga dealers, and used by her 
wood- working establishments. Large amounts of pine, both yellow and 
white, as well as nearly all the varieties of hard wood are manufactured 
into lumber and shipped to Northern cities. In addition to the plow and 
other agricultural implement manufactories which consume a large 
amount of lumber there are in Chattanooga nine establishments engaged 
in manufacturing chair furniture, pumps, handles, and wooden jvare, 
which represent in the aggregate an investment of over $350,000. These 
factories gives employment to more than 500 hands, and turn out 
annually manufactured products to the value of $500,000. Few of these 
establishments date their existence back of 1870, and the majority of 
them have been put into operation the present decade. 


Memphis is also a lumber center of importance. Its mills are sup- 
plied by raft from the Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee Rivers, and 
saw large quantities of cypress, ash, poplar, hickory, gum, and black 


This industry in Knoxville also is developing rapidly, and that city, 
situated as it is in one of the finest timber regions in the world, will in a 
few years, no doubt, rival any other point in the State, especially in the 
manufacture of pine and hard-wood lumber. Every county in the State 
manufactures lumber in greater or less quantities. According to the 
last census the number of saw-mills in Tennessee was 755, representing 
an investment of capital to the amount of $2,004,500, and making 
$3, 7 44, 90 5 worth of products annually. Could a report of this industry 
be obtained at the present time these figures would be largely increased. 
The following table exhibits the condition in 1880 of the manufactures 
which are altogether or very largely dependent upon timber for raw 
material : 

No. ofEstab- Value of 

lishments. Capital. Products. 

Agricultural implements 33 $161,030 f 183,116 

Boxes 3 33,500 46,000 

Coffins, caskets, etc 37 40,485 75,900 

Carriages and wagons ." 51 715,050 1,253,731 

Cooperage 53 36,350 153,375 

Sash, doors and blinds 8 183,500 268.230 

Wooden ware 3 99,430 347,350 

Furniture 85 511,250 954,100 

The making of white oak staves for the European market has grown 
to be quite an important industry. The number annually shipped from 
the lower Tennessee River, and made in Hardin, Wayne, Perry, Hum- 
phreys and Stewart Counties is over 1,500,000. About one-half of the 
quantity is shipped out of the Cumberland. In their rough state they 
command at New Orleans usually from $80 to $150 per thousand. 

The industry of first importance to Tennessee, and for which she has 
resources unexcelled by any State in the Union, is the manufacture of 
iron and its manipulation into forms of utility. Although this indus- 
try, as it now exists, has grown up in the past twenty years, its history 
dates back into the last century. The first settlers of Tennessee erected 
iron works within its limits soon after the close of the Revolution. A 
bloomary was built in Washington County in 1790, and another at Eliza- 
bethton, on Doe River in Carter County, about 1795. Wagner's bloom- 
ary, on Roane Creek, in Johnson County, is said to have been built in the 
same year. A bloomary was also erected on Camp Creek, in Greene 
County, in 1797. Two bloomaries in Jefferson County, the Mossy Creek 
Forge, ten miles tnorth of Dandridge, and Dumpling Eorge, five miles 


west of "Dandridge, were built in the same year. At about tlie sanie 
time, if not earlier, David Ross, the proprietor of iron works in Campbell 
County, Va., erected a large furnace and forge at the junction of the two 
forks of the Holston River, in Sullivan County, near the Virginia line, on 
the great road from Knoxville to Philadelphia. It is said that boats of 
twenty-five tons' burden, could ascend to Ross' iron works, and that at 
Long Island, a short distance above on the Holston, boats were built to 
transport iron and castings, made in considerable quantities at these 
works, with other produce, to the lower settlements and to New Orleans. 
A bloomary was built about 1795 below the mouth of the Watauga, and 
another at the same time about twenty-five miles above the mouth of 
French Broad River, and thirty miles above Knoxville. In what is now 
known as Middle Tennessee, iron was also made during the last decade 
of the last centurj-. A few years after the founding of Nashville, iron ore 
was discovered about thirty miles west of the future city. Between 1790 
and 1795 Cumberland Furnace was erected on Iron Fork of Barton's 
Creek, in Dickson County, seven miles northwest of Charlotte. This 
furnace was rebuilt in 1825, and is still in operation. This county, with 
Stewart and Montgomery Counties, afterward became very prominent in 
the manufacture of charcoal and pig-iron. The first furnace in Montgom- 
ery County was probably on Yellow Creek, fourteen miles southwest of 
Clarksville, built in 1802. The enterprises of these early iron workers 
assume a picturesque aspect, when viewed in connection with the primi- 
tive methods of manufacture which were employed by them, and which, 
in some portions of East Tennessee, have been continued to the present 
day. Their charcoal furnaces were blown through one tuyere with 
wooden tubs, adjusted to attachments which were slow in motion, and which 
did not make the best use of the water-power that was often insufficiently 
supplied by mountain streams of limited volume. A ton or two of iron a 
day in the shape of pigs or castings was a good yield. The bloomaries, 
with scarcely an exception, were furnished with a trompe or water-blast 
in a small stream with a suitable fall supplying both the blast for the fires 
and the power which turned the wheel that moved the hammer. Of cast 
iron cylinders, steam power, two tuyeres, and many other improvements 
in the charcoal-iron industry, these people knew but little. They were 
pioneers and frontiersmen in every sense; from the world of invention 
and progress they were shut out by mountains and streams and hun- 
dreds of miles of unsubdued forests. It is to their credit, and it should 
not be forgotten, that they diligently sought to utilize the resources 
which they found under their feet, and that they were not discouraged 
from undertaking a difficult task, because the only means for its accom- 


plisliment of which they had any knowledge were crude in conception 
and often very difficult to obtain. 

The iron industry of Tennessee, however, made steady progress after 
the opening of the present century. Both furnaces and bloomaries mul- 
tiplied rapidly. In 1850 there were enumerated over 75 forges and 
})loomaries, 71 furnaces, and 4 rolling-mills in the State, each of which 
had been in operation at some period after 1790. Of the furnaces, 29 
were in East Tennessee, and 42 in Middle and West Tennessee. Of the 
latter, 14 were in Stewart County, 12 in Montgomery, 7 in Dickson, 2 in 
Hickman, 2 in Perry, 2 in Decatur, 2 in Wayne, and 1 in Hardin Coun- 
tv. The furnaces in East Tennessee were mainly in Sullivan and Car- 
ter Counties, Sullivan having 5, and Carter 7 ; but Johnson, Washington, 
Greene, Cocke, Sevier, Monroe, Hamilton, Claiborne, Campbell, Grainger 
and Union Counties, each had 1 or 2 furnaces, while Eoane County had 
3. The forges and bloomaries were mainly located in East Tennessee. 
Johnson County contained 15, Carter 10, Sullivan 6, Washington 3, 
Greene 10, Campbell 7, Blount 4, Eoane 7, Khea 3, and a few other 
counties 1 and 2 each. Nearly all of these were bloomaries. In West 
Tennessee there were less than a dozen refinery forges, and 1 or 2 
bloomaries. These forges were mainly employed, from about 1825 to 
1860, in the manufacture of blooms for rolling-mills, many of which were 
sold to mills in the Ohio Valley. Most of the furnaces, forges and bloom- 
aries enumerated have been abandoned. There still remain in the State 
20 charcoal furnaces and about the same number of forges and bloom- 
aries. Cumberland Rolling-mill, on the left bank of the Cumberland 
River, in Stewart County, was built in 1829. It was, probably, the first 
establishment of the kind in the State, and was the only one as late 
as 1856. 

Since the close of the civil war, Chattanooga has become the most 
prominent iron center in Tennessee, having several iron enterprises of 
its own, and others in its vicinity. In 1854, Bluff Furnace was built to 
use charcoal, and at the beginning of the war, in 1861, the erection of the 
Vulcan Rolling-mill, to roll bar iron, was commenced. This mill was not 
finished in 1800, when it was burned by the Union forces. It was rebuilt 
in 1866. In 1864 a rolling-mill, to re-roll iron rails, was erected by the 
United States Government, under the supervision of John Fritz, superin- 
tendent of the Cambria Iron Works. In 1809 it was purchased by tlie 
Roane Iron Company, who at once put in puddling furnaces and began 
making iron rails. This company, the year previous, had purchased a 
large tract of land about seventy miles north of Chattanooga, in Roane 
County, and had built a small furnace with a capacity of about 9,000 



tons per year. The business was successful, and the company soon be- 
gan the erection of another and larger furnace, which was put in blast 
in 1872. Working capacity of the two, about 20,000 tons annually, 
which have since been doubled. The first open-hearth steel made in 
any Southern State, was made by this company, by the Siemens-Martin 
process, at Chattanooga, June 6, 1878. 

The Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company own three furnaces 
situated at Cowan and South Pittsburg, which have a combined capacity 
of about 75,000 tons. The one at the former place was built in 1880, 
and those ut South Pittsburg, in 1879 and 1881. 

Other furnaces which are more or less tributary to Chattanooga as a 
center are Oakdale, in Roane County, capacity, 21,000 tons; Citico, in 
that city, 35,000 tons; Dayton, in Rhea County, 70,000 tons, making an 
aggregate capacity of over 225,000 tons. In 1880 the total production 
of the blast furnace of the State was reported at only 17,873 tons, show- 
ing an increase of little less than 500 per cent during the past six years. 
The grand aggregate of iron and steel manufactured in Tennessee accord- 
ing to the last census was 77,100 tons, valued at $2,274,253. ^ The cap- 
ital invested in this industry amounted to $3,681,776, and was distribu- 
ted among forty-three establishments. The six leading counties in the 
order of production were Hamilton, 35,645 tons; Marion, 17,958 tons; 
Roane, 12,000 tons; Knox, 4,181 tons; Dickson, 2,400 tons, and Stewart, 
1,800 tons. 

The number of establishments engaged m the manufacture of ma- 
chinery, nails, car-wheels and other articles using iron as raw material, 
is annually increasing. The capital invested in this branch of the iron 
industry in Chattanooga amounts to over $500,000, and the annual prod- 
uct of iron to over $800,000. Knoxville, also, has a considerable amount 
of capital invested in manufactories of this class. The Knoxville Car- 
AVheel Company in 1880, with a capital of $101,000, was turning out an 
average of thirty-five car-wheels per day. The Knoxville Iron Company 
was incorporated in 1864, and in 1880 had a capital stock }>aid in of 
$230,000. It employs 250 hands, and has a capacity of 200 kegs of 
nails per day. It has eight puddling furnaces, four trains of rollers, and 
thirty nail machines. Besides nails the company makes railroad spikes, 
boat spikes, street rails and light T rails. 

The Knoxville Foundry & Machine Company had an invested cap- 
ital in 1880 of $45,000, and employed forty hands. This company man- 
ufactures mill machinery, castings, steam engines, boilers, saw-mills, der- 
ricks and other machinery of that class. Nashville and Memphis are not 
very extensively engaged in iron manufacturing. In 1880 the number 


of foundries aud macliine shops in tlie former city was thirteen, with a 
capital of 5^143,300, and an annual production of $487,451. The extent 
of this business in Memphis does not differ materially fi'om that in 

As great and important as are the iron resources of Tennessee, they 
would be of little value were it not for the vast bodies of coal which lie 
adjacent. Previous to 1850 but very little coal was mined, and that was 
mostly used in blacksmithiug. The pioneer in the coal business of Ten- 
nessee was Henry H. Wiley, of Anderson County, a native of Yirginia, 
and a land surveyor by profession. He opened a mine on Poplar Creek, 
and for many years during the winter months boated coal down to Hunts- 
ville and Decatur, Ala. He hauled the coal four miles to a point below 
the junction of the four forks of Poplar Creek, where it was put in boats, 
floated out that stream to the Clinch, then into the Tennessee, and thence 
to its destination. This mine was opened in 1852. Other mines, how- 
ever, had been opened several years previous, one or two as early as 1840, 
but these had been worked merely for local supply-. One of the first 
opened was at what is known as the Tracy City Mine, now the most ex- 
tensive in the State. The seam of coal at this place was discovered by 
some boys himting a rabbit ; the animal ran under the root of a tree, and 
in digging it out the coal was found. They reported the discovery to 
their father, Ben Wooten, and he, thinking it might be of some value, 
got out a grant for 500 acres covering the opening. The Wooten Bros, 
afterward opened the seam, and for many years hauled the coal down 
the mountain to the blacksmiths in the valley, and some was sent ta 
Nashville. In 1852 Eoorman Johnson, John Cryder, S. F. Tracy and 
others, of New York, came to Tennessee looking for opportunities for in- 
vestment. They were shown this property and soon after purchased it. 
A company was then formed under the name of the Sewanee Mining 
Company, which had a paid in capital of |400,000. In 1854 the con- 
struction of a railroad from the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad to the 
mines was commenced, but was not completed until 1859, when the com- 
pany found themselves $400,000 in debt. They were sued by both the 
New York and Tennessee creditors. The latter, represented by A. S. 
Colyar, obtained the first judgment, bought in the property and re-organ- 
ized the company under the name of the Tennessee Coal & Railroad Com- 
pany, with Colyar as president. In 1802 the mines were abandoned by 
the company, but were taken possession of by the United States troops, 
and for some time were worked for the use of the army. At the close of 
the war a compromise was effected with the New York creditors, and, 
with P. A. Marbury as general manager, operations were recommenced.. 


In 1868 the manufacture of coke in pits on the ground was begun, and 
during the year 5,377 bushels were shipped. In 1873 the company fore- 
saw that to make a great and profitable business the manufacture of coke 
must form a large part of their business, and that that coke must be a 
good iron-making fuel. A small furnace was erected on the mountain, 
and this experiment satisfactorily tested. During that year .the ship- 
ment of coke amounted to 62,175 bushels. The erection of the Chatta- 
nooga Iron Company's furnace gave great impetus to the enterprise, and 
in 1874 the coke shipment increased to 619,403 bushels. The next year 
the entire property was sold to Cherry, O'Connor & Co., who in 1880 be- 
gan the erection of a furnace at Cowan, which was finished in July, 1881. 
In the early part of the following year the property was sold to John H. 
Inman and others, Tennessee parties retaining a one-third interest. The 
name was changed to the Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company. 
The first coal shipped from this mine since the war was in June, 

1866, and shipments for remainder of the year amounted to 9,240 tons. 
In 1870 they amounted to 47,110 tons of coal and 413 tons of coke; in 
1875, to 109,100 tons of coal and 16,160 tons of coke; in 1880, to 114,- 
170 tons of coal and 64,440 tons of coke; 1883, 126,784 tons of coal and 
101,090 tons of coke; 1884, 152,307 tons of coal and 100,935 tons of 
coke. For several years about one-half of the labor employed in these 
mines has been that of convicts. The company have a very large tract 
of land, 25,000 acres of which is underlaid with the Sewanee seam of 
co^l, ranging from two to seven feet in thickness. 

The Rockwood mines, owned by the Roane Iron Company, are located 
in Roane County, ninety-two miles above Chattanooga. This remarkable 
body of coal was discovered in 1840 by William Green, an employe of 
John Brown. Green and "William Brown soon after entered, the land, 
and began mining the coal for local purposes. This was continued until 

1867, when the property was purchased by a company, of which Gen. 
John T. Wilder was vice-president and manager. As has been stated, 
the company erected two blast furnaces, and to supply them began the 
manufacture of coke. This latter branch of their business has steadily 
increased until they now have 180 ovens. 

The Etna mines are situated in Marion County, fourteen miles from 
Chattanooga in what is known as Raccoon Mountain. They were first 
opened in 1852 by an Eastern company working under a lease from Rob- 
ert Cravens and the Boyce and Whiteside estates. Since that time they 
have been operated by several different companies and individuals with 
varied success and reverses. The present company was organized in 
August, 1881, under the name of the Etna Coal Company. The mines 


now operated are owned by the company, tlie estate consisting of about 
3,000 acres, extending from the Nashville, Chattanooga & 8t. Louis Eail- 
way to the Tennessee Kiver. The veins worked are known as the 
Kelly and Oak Hill. From the Kelly Mine a coke is made for foun- 
dry use exclusively, while that from Oak Hill is used for blast fur- 
naces. The former mine was originally opened for general domestic use 
and the product was sold largely in Nashville, Chattanooga and else- 
where, but its superior qualities for blacksmith use and for the manufac- 
ture of coke soon caused the trade to drift almost exclusively into that 
channel. In 1880 about one-fourth of the entire output was coked, the 
remainder being sold to blacksmiths throughout the South. In 1884 
the company had sixty-four coke ovens, and the output from January 1 to 
November 1 was coal, 41,205 tons, and coke, 533,436 bushels. 

The Soddy Cave Company's mines are located on the Cincinnati 
Southern Eailway, twenty-one miles from Chattanooga, at Eathburn Stn- 
tion. This mine was opened in 1867 by an association of Welshmen on 
the co-operative. plan. It proved a failure, and the mine went into the 
hands of a receiver. The present company took charge in 1877, and the 
business has since steadily increased. They have 150 coke ovens. Their 
output from ten months preceding November 1, 1884, was 96,000 tons of 
coal, of which 32,000 tons were converted into coke. They ship to 
Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 

The Walden's Eidge Coal Company is a corporation with the same 
stock holders as the Soddy Company. They operate a mine on Eooky 
Creek, nine miles farther up the railroad, having begun in 1883. Two 
seams are worked, the lower for coking exclusively, and the upper for 
steam and domestic purposes. In 1884 thirty-five coke ovens were in 
operation, producing 404,949 bushels of coke annually. These mines 
were worked as far back as 1843, but little coal except for blacksmithing 
was consumed at that time. The first coal mined here for shipment was 
by Thomas A. Brown and John Baxter, of Knoxville, in 1866. 

The coal lands at Coal Creek, in Anderson County, are owned by the 
Coal Creek Consolidated Mining Company. There are now six mines 
being worked at that place, of which two are operated by the above com- 
pany and the remainder leased to the Knoxville Iron Company, the Coal 
Creek Coal Company, the New Eiver Coal Company, and H. B. and Joel 
Bowling. The Coal Creek mines were first opened for shipping coal 
upon the completion to that place of the Knoxville & Ohio Eailroad, in 
1870. The shipments in 1871 amounted to 36,000 tons; in 1875, 62,- 
369 tons; in 1880, 150,000 tons; and in 1882, 200,000 tons. The Knox- 
ville Iron Company operates a mine about one and one-half miles from 


the main track of the Knoxville & Ohio division of the East Tennessee, 
Virginia & Georgia Railroad. They employ about 150 convicts and 
thirty-four laborers. During the year 1882 the company shipped 98,645 
tons of coal to various markets in southwest Virginia, North and South 
Carolina, Georgia and Alabama. For the first ten months of 188-4 their 
output amounted to 204,978 tons. 

The Dayton Coal & Iron Company's mines are located in Rhea 
County, Tenn., and are owned by English capitalists. These mines have 
been recently opened, and are designed mainly to supply coke for the 
blast furnaces which have been built. 

The Standard Coal & Coke Company is composed of Tennessee cap- 
italists who own about 1,400 acres of land, underlaid by a seam of coal 
four and one-half feet thick. Their mine is situated near Newcomb 
Station, in Campbell County. They employ 175 men, and produce about 
350 tons of coal per day. 

The Poplar Creek mines are located in Morgan County. These mines 
are all small. They are operated by the following companies: Poplar 
Creek, Mount Carbon, Winter's Gap, Eureka and Oliver. 

The Glum Mary Coal & Coke Company is located in Scott County, 
on the Cincinnati Southern Railroad. 

The Tobler, Crudup Coal & Coke Company was incorporated in 1881. 
They own 7,000 acres of land in Hamilton County, and put out about 200 
tons of coal daily. 

One of the most promising fields of industrial activity in East Ten- 
nessee, is the development of the wonderful marble quarries in the vicin- 
ity of Knoxville. These marbles have obtained a reputation second to no 
other in the United States, and it is said that when they come into com- 
petition with foreign marble, they are greatly preferred and sell for a 
much higher price. The varieties are almost innumerable, and are of 
the most exquisite colors. Their solidity, durability and susceptibility of 
polish make them unequaled for building and monumental purposes. 
Although nearly fifty years have elapsed since the first marble quar- 
ry was opened, "the business is still in its infancy, but is now developing 

The Hawkins County marble was the first quarried, and it is said that 
it was brought to notice by the favorable expression with reference to it 
by Dr. Troost, the first State geologist. 

In 1838 the Rogersville Marble Company was formed for the pur- 
pose of sawing marble and establishing a marble factory in the vicinity 
of Rogersville. Orville Rice was elected president, and S. D. Mitchell 
secretary. The company operated to a limited extent for several years, 


erected a mill and sold several thousand dollars worth of marble annual- 
ly, which was mostly distributed in East Tennessee. In 1844 the com- 
pany sold out to the president, Kice, who on a moderate scale carried on 
the business for many years. He sent a block of the "light mottled 
strawberry variety" to the "Washington monument. This was called the 
"Hawkins County Block," and bears thb inscription "From Hawkins 
County, Tennessee." Another block of one of the best varieties was sent 
by act of the Legislature, which was called the "State Block." These 
blocks attracted the attention of the building committee of the National 
Capitol, who, although they had numerous specimens from all parts of 
the Union before them, decided in favor of the East Tennessee marble. 
An agent was sent out by them to ascertain whether or not it could be ob- 
tained in quantity, who upon examination found the supply apparently 
inexhaustible. As a result of these circumstances, an extensive quarry af- 
fording an excellent material has been opened near Mooresburg, Hawkins 
County, and is now known as the old Dougherty Quarry. From this was 
obtained marble for probably one-half of the ornamental work in the Cap- 
itol at Washington. The balustrades and columns of the stairs leading up 
to the House and Senate galleries, the walls of the marble room and other 
parts of the building are made from it. It has since been used in the 
United States Treasury building, the State-house at Columbia, S. C, and 
many of the finest buildings in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and 
Cincinnati. The stone from this quarry has not been used for general 
construction on account of the high price which it commands for orna- 
mental work. 

In 1852 James Sloan opened a quarry about two miles north of Knox- 
ville, near the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad. It was 
from this quarry that the variegated marble used in the capitol at Nash- 
ville was obtained. 

The first quarry in the vicinity of Concord was opened in the lands of 
William T. Smith by S. L. King, 185(3. He also constructed a small 
mill on Lime Creek, where some marble was sawed. 

Col. John Williams also opened a quarry previous to the war, a few 
miles northeast of Knoxville, from which marble of the gray variety was 

The most extensive quarry in Tennessee, and one of the oldest now in 
operation in the vicinity of Knoxville, was opened by the United States 
Government in 18G9 to procure stone for the construction of the custom 
house and postoffice buildings at Knoxville. A considerable quantity of 
this marble was also used in the State Capitol at Albany, New York. The 
quarry is located at the junction of the French Broad and Holston Rivers, 


and the stone is carried by boat four miles to Knoxville. This marble is 
susceptible o£ a high polish, and when so polished has a pink tinge and 
shows dark wavy lines running through it. It is highly esteemed for 
mantels and table-tops, because it is not easily stained. It is also largely 
used for cemetery work, and' tombstones which have been exposed for 
thirty years do not show the slightest signs of disintegration or wear. 

Morgan & Williams operate two quarries within two miles of Knox- 
ville, one of them producing a white marble, and the other a pink mate- 
rial known as Knoxville marble. The former was used in the construc- 
tion of the custom house at Memphis, and the shaft of the Lee monument 
at New Orleans is made of it. The supply of this marble is practically 

The total capital invested in the marble business in Knox County in 
1884 was estimated at $250,000, and the number of men employed at 
300. The following were the quarries in operation at that time: the 
Cross Cut Marble Company, Morgan & "Williams, John M. Eoss, Craig 
& McMullen, T. P. Thomas & Co., E. H. Armstrong & Co., H. H. Brown 
& Co., Harvey & Smith, Franklin Marble Company, Beach & Co., C. 
B. Ross & Co., and the Lima & East Tennessee Marble Company.* 
The only ones using machinery are the Knoxville Marble Company and 
Morgan & Williams. The former has five steam drills, seven steam 
derricks, and runs a saw-mill with two gangs of saws. Morgan & Williams 
have three steam channeling machines, and a mill with one gang of saws. 
In Knoxville Beach & Co. and the Crescent Marble Company have mills 
for sawing and machinery for polishing. There is a demand for a greater 
amount of capital in this branch of the business. 

The amount of marble in Hawkins County is very great, and its va- 
riegated varieties possess greater brilliancy than those of any other sec- 
tion. The business of quarrying has not increased in the same propor- 
tion as in Knox County, on account of the poor facilities for transporta- 
tion. The quarries in operation in 1884 were Prince & Co., Chestnut 
& Chestnut, John Harnn & Co., Chestnut & Fulkerson, James White, 
the Dougherty Quarry, Joseph Stamps and the Baltimore Marble Com- 
pany. The business at none of these quarries is carried on very exten- 
sively, and but little machinery is used. For the year ending June 30, 
1881, there was shipped from such of these quarries as were operat- 
ing 20,000 cubic feet of marble, all of which was of the finest grade 
for ornamental purposes, and was worth on an average ^4 per cubic 
foot upon the cars. The chief markets of this marble are Philadelphia, 
Baltimore, New York, Boston and other Northern cities. The amount of 

Hand Book of Tennessee.' 


marble shipped over the East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad 
for the year ending June 30, 1871, was about 7,000 cubic feet, of which 
Hawkins County furnished all but about 350 cubic feet. For the year 
ending June 30, 1881, the amount shipped over the same railroad was 
about 80,000 cubic feet, valued at ^240,000. Of the entire amount 
Knox County furnished not far from 5(3,000 cubic feet. 

Hamblen County produces marble of good quality, but chiefly for 
local use. Extensive beds of excellent marble exist in Bradley County 
on the Hiwassee River, above Charleston, at which machinery has lately 
been erected and preparations made for work on a large scale. South 
of Cleveland, near the Georgia line, is the quarry of Patrick & Smith, 
fi'om which a beautiful grade of pink marble is obtained. Although mar- 
ble in greater or less quantities and of various kinds is found in several 
other counties of the State, no quarries of importance are now in opera- 
tion in any of them. 

Concord, in Knox County, has recently become the center of a large 
number of quarries, there being no less than eight companies operating 
in that vicinity, all of which have been organized since 1880. The Li- 
ma & East Tennessee Marble Company, operating the Red Triangle 
Quarry, was organized in 1882, and made their first shipment in June of 
that year. Their marble, light and dark variegated, is remarkably 
sound, and meets with a ready sale in the cities of the North. The Con- 
cord marble quarries, operated by Brown, Godfrey & Co., were opened in 
1881. They employ an average force of 150 hands, and make large 
shipments, principally to New York and Boston. Woods & Stamps began 
operations in 1884, and work a large force of hands. The Juniata 
Marble Company made their first opening in February, 1883. Their 
quarries are situated in Blount County, near Louisville. The company 
employ about thirty-five hands, and have machinery in operation for 
sa-wing the marble into slabs. The Great Bend Marble Company, Kin- 
kaid & Co. and the Cedar Bluff Marble Manufacturing & Railway 
Company, all opened quarries during 1885. 

The number of men now employed in the marble business in East 
Tennessee is estimated at 2,000. The shipments from the various sta- 
tions in 1885 aggregated 1,250 car loads, worth from $250 to $300 each. 
There were also manufactured at home about 100 car loads. The ship- 
ments for 188G will not fall short of 1,500 car loads. 

Although suspended at the present time, the mining of copper was 
carried on extensively for many years in Polk County. The discovery of 
the ore was made in 184:3, but none was mined until 1847, when a Ger- 
man named Webber, securing a lease, took out ninety casks of ore and 


shipped tlaem to the Revere Smelting Works near Boston. The results 
not proving satisfactory, he suspended operations and gave up his lease. 
A year or two later John Caldwell, upon petitioning the Legislature, 
obtained the passage of a law under which he secured a lease of a section 
of school land near Ducktown. In May, 1850, he began mining in the 
woods, and during the year sunk two shafts, from both of which he 
obtained copper. The next year in connection with S. Congdon, the 
agent of the Tennessee Mining Company, he opened what was afterward 
known as the Hiwassee Mine. For the first two or three years the ore 
was carried out of the mountains on mules, but in 1853 a wagon road 
was completed at a cost of $22,000. In 1855 there were fourteen mines 
in operation, and over $1,000,000 worth of ore was shipped to the North. 
Three years later a number of the companies united under the name of 
the Union Consolidated Copjjer Company, but the war coming on soon 
after nothing of importance was then accomplished. In 1866 operations 
were again commenced and were rapidly extended. Up to June 1, 1873,. 
this company had taken out 8,476,872 pounds of ingot copper, worth an 
average of 26 cents per pound. At that time they employed 562 men 
and ran sixteen furnaces. The whole value of their property was $474,- 
549.30. In 1873 there was one other large company operating near 
Ducktown, known as the Burra Burra Copper Company. It ran nine 
furnaces and employed 158 men, paying out for wages $60,000. It also 
consumed 10,192 cords of wood and produced 917,329 pounds of ingot 
copper, valued at $192,639. 

In 1878 the consolidated company entered into litigation with Capt. 
Raht, the superintendent, which caused a stoppage of operations, and 
since that time but little has been done by any of the companies. The 
property of the consolidated company was purchased during, the latter 
part of 1884 by a company from New York, who has not yet put it into 

The Hour-milling industry of Tennessee in 1880 ranked above all, 
other industrial enterprises both in the amount of capital invested and in 
the value of its products. At that time there were 990 flour and grist- 
mill establishments in the State having an aggregate capital of $3,595,- 
585, and putting out annually products to the amount of $10,784,804. 
These amounts were slightly exceeded by one other Southern State, 
Virginia, but the growth of this business in Tennessee during the past 
six years has made her the leading milling State of the South. Although 
no other industry is so thoroughly distributed over the State, Nashville 
is the flour-milling center of Tennessee. Tlie growth of the business in 
that city during the past ten years has been wonderfully rapid. In that 


time the four leading mills have been built, and the production raised 
from 500 to 1,800 barrels per day, while the capital invested has increased 
from 1100,000 to |G00,000. The amount of wheat used annually by 
these mills reaches 2,340,000 bushels, of which a large portion is grown 
in Tennessee. 

Beside^ Davidson County there were in 1880 five counties in the 
State the value of whose mill products amounted to over $300,000 each. 
They were Knox, with a production of $114:,017; Henry, $365,372; Bed- 
ford, $359,208; Maury, $311,067, and AVilliamson, $301,270. 

Among the first settlers of Tennessee, Indian corn was used exclu- 
sively for bread. This was due to the small amount of labor re- 
quired in its cultivation, and to the ease with Avliich it could be prepared 
for use. Previous to the erection of the first rude mill, the only machin- 
ery used in the preparation of corn for hominy or meal was the mortar 
and pestle, the former usually consisting of the stump of a tree hollowed 
out for that purpose. ■ The first mill erected in Tennessee was built be- 
fore 1775 on Buffalo Creek, in Carter County, and belonged to Baptist 
McNabb. At about the same time another mill was built by Matthew 
Talbot on Gap Creek. The first mill west of the Cumberland Mountains 
was a corn-mill and hominy-pounder built at Eaton's Station in 1782; a 
dam was made across the small creek which empties into the Cumber- 
land at the foot of the high land on which the station was located, and by 
the construction of a race by the side of the branch, sufficient fall of wa- 
ter Avas obtained to turn a pair of rudely cut stones. The hominy-pounder 
was an extremely primitive piece of machinery. "A trough was made 
twelve feet long and placed upon a pivot, or balance, and was so dug out 
that by letting the water run in at one end of the trough, it would fill up 
so as to overcome the equipoise, when one end would descend, and, the wa- 
ter rushing out, the trough would return to its equilibrium, coming down 
at the other end with considerable force, when a pestle or hammer was 
made to strike with force sufficient to crack the grains of corn." This 
process proving too slow a Mr. Cartwright constructed a wheel upon 
which was fastened a number of cow's horns in such a way that as each 
horn Avas filled by water its weight turned the wheel so that the next 
horn was presented to receive its supply, and thus the wheel was kept in 
constant revolution. To a crank was attached the apparatus for corn- 
cracking, and by the revolution of the wheel many little blows Vf ere made 
upon the corn placed in the mortar. This mill-seat, water-wheel and 
hominy-block was the property of James and Heyden Wells, the earliest 
millers in Middle Tennessee. * ' A little later Casper and his brother 



George Mansker erected a rival establishment within a mile of Mans- 
ker's station. Larger and better equipped mills were erected by Freder- 
ick Stump and John Buchanan. Stump's mill was on White's Creek and 
Buchanan's on Mill Creek, two miles south of Nashville. The many 
streams in all parts of the State afforded abundant Avater-power, and af- 
ter the beginning of the present century there was no lack of mills. 
Those on Red Biver were especially numerous, and had a wide reputa- 
tion for the good quality of their flour. Within the past few years the 
introduction of the more expensive roller-mills has had a tendency to 
drive out some of the smaller establishments, and the number of mills 
is decreasing somewhat. 

The manufacture of cotton into various goods has long been an indus- 
try of considerable importance in Tennessee, but it has never attained 
the proportions which her natural advantages would justify. The rais- 
ing of cotton began to assume considerable proportions during the first 
decade of the present century, but its manufacture, except in a domestic 
way, was not attempted until a few years later. In a report of the cotton- 
mills of the United States in 1810, only one is mentioned in Tennessee, 
and that was a horse-mill. The Tennessee Gazetteer published in 1834, 
in enumerating the manufactories in the State, mentions two "spinning 
factories" at Knoxville and Paris, each, and one at Athens; two cotton 
factories at Murfreesboro and one at Franklin and Statesville, each. The 
last two are designated as "extensive." There was also a rope and bag- 
ging factory at Lebanon. In 1840 the number of cotton factories in the 
State had increased to thirty-eight, representing a capital of $463,240, 
and operating 1(),813 spindles. Of the whole number twenty-five were 
in Middle Tennessee, eight in East Tennessee and five in the western 
division. The counties having more than $30,000 invested in this busi- 
ness were Wilson, $05,000; Williamson, $48,000; Lawrence, $47,000; 
Madison, $50,000 and Franklin $33,100. The census of 1860 reported 
thirty factories with 29,850 spindles and 243 looms, and representing a 
capital of $965,000. At this time Lawrence County stood first, having one- 
fifth of the whole number of factories, and more than one-fifth of the 
capital invested. Owing to the effects of the civil war the next decade 
shows a slight decrease in the number of factories and the quantity of 
the product. From 1870 to 1880 quite a large amount of new capital 
was invested in cotton manufacturing, but the greatest increase has been 
within the past five years. In that time the business has increased about 
130 per cent. The largest factory in the State, and perhaps in the South, 
is operated by the Tennessee Manufacturing Company at Nashville. Thev 
have over $1,000,000 invested; run 850 looms and 30,000 spindles, and 


turn out products to the amount of nearly $1,000,000 annually. Tlie 
goods manufactured consist principally of sheetings, shirtings, grain 
bags and cotton plaids. Nashville has two other factories, both of which 
were established in 1881, and represent a combined capital of $340,000. 
Their production consists largely of carpet warps, twines and rope. The 
Columbia Cotton-mills, established in 1884, operate 6,500 spindles and 
174 looms, and manufacture sheeting, bags and yarn. The Pioneer Mill 
at Mount Verd, McMinn County, put into operation in 1881 at an outlay 
of $200,000, runs 5,272 spindles and 132 looms. The Trenton Manu- 
facturing Company organized in 1884, with a capital stock of $00,000, use 
3,200 spindles and 100 looms in the manufacture of white goods. The 
Brookside Cotton-mills, of Kuoxville, began operations in March, 1886, 
employing 200 hands. Other factories of less capacity have been erected 
since the beginning of this decade, but the above are sufficient to illus- 
trate the rapid growth of this industry. With the advantage of abun- 
dant water-power, cheap fuel, and close proximity to the raw material, it is 
only a question of time when Tennessee will rival, if not excel. New Eng- 
land in the manufacture of cotton goods. 

The capital invested in the manufacture of woolen goods is less than 
one-half that represented by the cotton factories, but it is distributed 
among a much greater number of establishments, many of whicli are of 
small capacity and run only a portion of the year. The woolen-mills 
of the State, as reported in 1880, numbered 100, representing an 
aggregate investment of $418,464. The annual productions are val- 
ued at $620,724, and consisted principally of the following goods: 
Jeans, 644,036 yards; linsey, 94,493 yards; satinets, 23,300 yarels; flan- 
nels, 18,450 yards; cloths, cassimeres and similar goods, 8,440 yards; 
blankets, 2,387 yards; tweeds, 3,000 yards, and shawls 1,000 yards. There 
was also one establishment engaged in the manufacture of mixed tex- 
tiles, having a capital of $35,000, and producing goods to the value of 
$79,000 annually. Since the beginning of this decade the manufacture 
of woolen goods has more than doubled, several of the largest factories 
in the State having been put into operation within the last four years. 
The Nashville Woolen Mill Company, with a capital of $78,000, began 
business in 1882. They employ 100 operatives, who turn out products 
to the amount of $150,000. The Jackson Woolen Manufacturing Com- 
pany, having an invested capital of $50,000, began business in 1884, 
and operate forty-seven looms. The Knoxville Mills, which began busi- 
ness in 1885 with a capital of $180,000, operates 104 looms. 

Previous to 1880 the largest woolen-mill in the State was the one at 
Tullahoma, which represents a capital of $90,000, and runs eighty-five 


looms. Previous to the war the business consisted almost exclusively in 
wool-carding, which was carried on by small establishments involving an 
outlay of only a few hundred, or at most a few thousand dollars. The 
following is a list of these "carding machines," as reported in the census 
of 1840. It is evidently incomplete: 

Capital Value of 

Number. Invested. Products. 

Wilson 6 $3,750 |6,000 

Sumner 5 4,650 2,050 

Rutherford 5 6,000 3.400 

Jefferson 3 1,200 360 

Grainger 3 1,500 700 

Hawkins 1 2,000 

Coffee 1 4,000 1,000 

McNairy 1 1,400 30 

Knox 1 800 450 

Dickson 1 300 300 

Totals 27 $25,600 $14,290 

In 1860 the number of these establishments had increased to sixty- 
nine, and the capital invested to $82,300. During the year previous they 
carded 460,665 pounds of wool, making 4-60,000 pounds of rolls, valued at 
$219,772. At that time Tennessee had over one-third of this business 
in the Southern States, and was excelled by only three States in the 
Union. The only mill reported which contained a loom was located in 
Sumner County. This mill used 10,000 pounds of wool and manufact- 
ured 18,000 yards of cloth. 

Fifty years ago gunpowder was manufactured in a small way in 
many of the counties of this State. The capital invested amounted to 
but little, and the product was correspondingly small. Of these estab- 
lishments, in 1840, Claiborne and Overton Counties had two each, and 
Campbell, Carter, JefPerson, Sullivan. Giles and Warren one each. The 
capital represented ranged from $25 to $900, and the product from 160 
to 6,000 pounds, tlie aggregate production reaching 10,333 pounds. 
About 1845 the Sy<^amore Manufacturing Company located in Cheatham 
County, erected a large mill for the manufacture of gunpowder, 
which they continued to operate until the war. At the close of hostili- 
ties the company was organized under a charter, with a capital of $100,- 
000, which has since been increased to $300,000. In 1874 the entire 
machinery of the Confederate Powder Works, at Augusta, Ga., were 
purchased by the company, and the capacity of their mills was increased 
to 100,000 kegs of powder per year. 

The manufacture of paper was begun in Tennessee at a comparatively 
early date, and has been continued by one or more mills to the present 
time. One of the first establishments of this kind was erected at Paper- 


ville, a little village on a brancli o£ the Holston River, iu Sullivan Coun- 
ty. In 1840 the number of paper-mills in the State was six, located one 
in each of the following counties: Grainger, Knox, McMinn, Sullivan, 
Davidson and Sumner. They represented an aggregate capital of $103,- 
000, and their annual products were valued at $60,000. In 1860 the 
number of mills had decreased to two, and the amount of capital invested 
to $28,000. Their annual product was 200,000 pounds of paper, valued 
at $14,500. 

The manufacture of leather and boots and shoes is a pioneer in- 
dustry. Among the early settlers nearly every farmer had a vat, or more 
frequently merely a trough, in which was tanned the leather to make the 
boots and shoes for his household. Later numerous small tanneries 
were erected, which endeavored only to supply the local demand. In 
1840 there were 454 of these establishments, of which East Tennessee 
had 225; Middle Tennessee, 164; and the western division, 65. The 
entire capital invested in the business was $484,114, of which Middle 
Tennessee had a little more than one-half. The aggregate products were 
133,547 sides of sole-leather, and 171,339 sides of uppers, of Avhich 
Montgomery County produced nearly one-sixth. In 1860 the number 
of tanneries was reported at 265, with a capital of $851,780, and an 
annual production of leather to the value of $1,142,246. The estimated 
amount of capital invested in the making of boots and shoes was $214,- 
512, and the productions were valued at $395,790. In 1870 the number 
of establishments engaged in the manufacture of leather was 396, repre- 
senting capital to the amount of $705,665, and turning out products to 
the value of $1,851,638. According to the census of 1880 there were 
113 establishments engaged in the manufacture of curried leather, whose 
product amounted to $546,427, and 147 establishments manufacturing 
tanned leather to the amount of $1,504,6(50 during the year. The larg- 
est tannery in the State is located at Chattanooga, and is ■ operated by 
Fayerweather & Ladew. The products from this establishment amount 
to little less than $1,000,000 per annum. Nashville has several tanner- 
ies, all of which do a good business. The Hall & Ordway Manufactur- 
ing Company are erecting an extensive establishment at that place to 
supply their factory, as well as to meet a large foreign demand. This 
firm operate the only shoe manufactory in the State, and are the j^ioneers 
in that business. The company was organized in November, 1885, and 
began business the first of the following January. They have a capacity 
of 700 pairs of shoes per day, but already contemplate increasing it to 
1,000. They employ from 100 to 350 hands. Their materials, except 
the findings and uppers, which come principally from Boston and New 


York, are obtained from Tennessee tanneries, and tlieir trade is rapidly 
extending over tlie entire South. Tlieir success in this business is a sure 
precursor of numerous other establishments of the kind, as Nashville al- 
ready has the largest boot and shoe trade of any city of its size in the 
United' States. It is also said by experienced shoemen that Tennessee 
leather, on account of the superior quality of the bark and the purity of 
the water used in its manufacture, is superior to that of any other 

The manufacture of whisky in Tennessee dates back nearly to the 
advent of the first colonists. As early as 1785 Col. James Eobertson, 
learning that the establishment of distilleries in the Cumberland settle- 
ments was under contemplation, secured the passage of an act by the Leg- 
islature of North Carolina, prohibiting the distillation of spirituous liq- 
uors. in Davidson County. The prohibition, however, proved of but lim- 
ited duration, and there was soon considerable domestic manufacture and 
increased consumption. For the first fifty or sixty years of the present 
century, there was scarcely a county in the State that was not more or 
less extensively engaged in the manufacture of whisky. It was usually 
made in small distilleries with a capacity of thirty or forty gallons per 
day. In 1840 the number of distilleries reported in East Tennessee was 
()0(3, producing for that year 314:,4:4:5 gallons of whisky. The counties 
producing the most were McMinn, Claiborne, Hawkins, Greene, Roane 
and Marion. The whole number of "still-houses" in Middle Tennessee 
Avas 668, and the number of gallons of whisky produced, 695,769. Lin- 
coln, Bedford, Davidson, Maury and Robertson produced the greatest quan- 
tities. The first named county had 87 distillers and manufactured 128,180 
gallons of whisky. This county and Robertson have long enjoyed the 
reputation of producing the best whisky in the State, if not in the United 
States. This is largel}^ due to the fact that it is manufactured by men of 
long experience in the business, and the materials used are of superior 
quality. These two counties now produce a large part of the whisky 
made in the State. The largest distillery in Tennessee is that of Charles 
Nelson, near Greenbrier, in Robertson County. This establishment in 
the year 1885 produced 379,125 gallons, more than one-third the entire 
production for the State, and about 82 per cent of the production in Rob- 
ertson County. During the fiscal year, ending June 30, 1885, there were 
90 registered grain distilleries in the State, of which 55 were in opera- 
tion, and 238 fruit distilleries — all in operation. The total revenue for 
the year paid by the former was ^802,515.74, and by the latter $73,- 
849.55. The materials used by the grain distilleries were as follows: 
rye, 26,063 bushels; corn, 181,899 bushels; mill feed, 5,581 bushels j 


wheat, 49 bushels; and malt, 12,717 bushels. The following is the inter- 
nal revenue collected upon distilled liquors in Tennessee for each year 
from 1864 to 1885: 1864, $602,705.93; 1865, $1,605,263.41; 1866, 
$3,381,840.56; 1867, $3,349,459.91; 1868, $3,717,010.04; 1869, $1,255,- 
781.12; 1870, $1,470,859.57; 1871, $874,221.65; 1872, $766,840.20; 
1873, $644,480.76; 1874, $664,717.18; 1875, $861,645.28; 1876, $596,- 
713.67; 1877, $897,181.73; 1878, $844,485.08; 1879, $908,924.44; 
1880, $1,003,735.86; 1881, $1,146,763.64; 1882, $997,728; 1883, 
$1,173,890.29; 1884, $1,249,975.96; 1885, $1,057,189.43. The total 
tax collected for the twenty-one years amounts to $29,071,413.31. 

The manufacture of cotton-seed oil is an industry of great impor- 
tance, both in the amoiint of capital invested and the value of the prod- 
ucts. Memphis is the center of this business, although there are sev- 
eral other towns which have extensive oil-mills. In that city there are 
eleven mills, but all are not run on full time. The magnitude of this 
branch of business is indicated by the fact that nearly $1,000,000 is 
annually paid out for cotton seed by the Memphis mills alone. It also 
gives employment to fully 600 hands, and affords to river and railway 
commerce nearly $350,000 in freight. The receipts of cotton seed in 
Memphis during 1885 were 58,000 tons, from which there was a yield of 
45,000 barrels of oil, 22,000 tons of oil cake, 26,000 bales of regius and 200 
tons of ashes. The last article is used in the manufacture of fer- 

A mill to manufacture oil from cotton seed was established in 
Jackson about seven years ago, and has grown to be one of the largest 
establishments of the kind in the State. It gives employment to about 
150 hands, and runs day and night. In 1883 a company was organized 
to engage in the business at Trenton, and during the summer large build- 
ings were erected, into which was put the most improved machinery. 
When first put into operation, the mill consumed 750 bushels of cotton 
seed, making 500 gallons of oil and 9,000 pounds of meal or coke. 
Within the past year the capacity of the mill has been doubled. 

Nashville has two mills, the first of which was built in 1868. Each 
consumes from 5,000 to 6,000 tons of cotton seed yearly. Their com- 
bined annual product is estimated at 400,000 gallons of oil and 2,100 
tons of meal. The oil is used in the manufacture of soap and candles, 
and in the adulteration of lard and other oils. It is also said to be 
used to some extent in the manufacture of oleomargarine. The growth 
of the manufacturing interest of the State since 1850 is shown in the 
following table: 




No. Estab- 

Capital Invested. 


1850 .... 
1860 .... 
1870 .... 
1880 .... 




Wages Paid. 


Value of Mater- 

Value of Produce. 






The agency which has been most effective in placing the vast natural 
resources and advantages of Tennessee before the world, and in inaugu- 
rating a better system of farming, is the Bureau of Agriculture, Statistics 
and Mines, established by act of the Legislature in December, 1871. 
With the limited appropriations granted to this bureau, not one-fifth as 
much as is expended for that purpose by some States of the Northwest, 
it has succeeded in the past ten years in bringing into the State millions 
of dollars of capital and thousands of families. The commissioners of 
this department have been men of untiring energy and practical busi- 
ness ability, and to them are largely due the results which have been ob- 
"feined. J. B. Killebrew, the secretary of the bureau, and the first com- 
missioner, published numerous works on the agricultural and industrial 
interests. His work on the " Eesources of Tennessee " is one of the 
most thorough and complete publications of the kind ever made. The 
work of the bureau under his administration proved very effective. A 
committee, appointed in 1879 to investigate its affairs, reported not less 
tlian 8,000 immigrants, and about $9,000,000 capital had been intro- 
duced into the State through its instrumentality. In 1881 the com- 
missioner reported that during the preceding two years there had been 
added not less than' $5,000,000 to the wealth of the State, and 7,000 
immigrants to its populatioii. From 1881 to 1883 the bureau was under 
the direction of es-Gov. Hawkins, and since that time the office of com- 
missioner has been filled by Maj. A. J. McWhirter, who is thoroughly 
alive to the interests of the State. In 1883 an exhibit of the natural 
resources and agricultural products of Tennessee was made at the South- 
ern Exposition, held at Louisville, Ky., and the Mechanics Institute 
Fair, held at Boston, Mass. A more extensive exhibit was made at the 
Industrial and Cotton Centennial of New Orleans in 1884-85, and also 
in the following year. The profits derived from these exhibits have 
been great and are manifested in the rapid development of the manufac- 
turing and mining interests of the State, as well as the increase in the 
number of farms. The population of Tennessee, as reported by the last 
census, was 1,5-12,359. It is now estimated by the best statisticians at 
1,850,000, a gain of over 300,000, or 20 per cent in six years. The in- 
crease in wealth has been proportionately great. 



State Institutions— The Location of Legislative Sessions— Final Estab- 
lishment OF the Capital— Construction of the State-house— Descrip- 
tion of the Style of Architecture— The Jackson Statue— The State 
Library— The Deaf and Dumb School— The Tennessee School for the 
Blind— The Tennessee Hospital for the Insane — The State Peniten- 
tiary—The Historical Society— The Medical Society— The State 
Board of Health— The Agricultural Bureau — The Grand Lodges of 
Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Honor, United Order of the Golden 
Cross, American Legion of Honor, Knights of Pythias, Knights and 
Ladies of Honor, Ancient Order of United Workmen, Royal Arcanum 
AND Grand Army of the Republic. 

PREYIOUS to the year 1843, the seat of government of the State 
had not been definitely fixed. The Territorial Assembly met in 
Knoxville, in 1794-95; also the Constitutional Convention in 1796. In 
1807 the Legislature convened on September 21, at Kingston, but tAvo 
days later adjourned to Knoxville. Nashville was the place of meeting 
in 1812, 1813, 1815; Knoxville again in 1817; then Murfreesboro, from 
1819 to 1825, inclusive. The session of 182(3 was held in Nashville, as 
have been all succeeding ones. Section 2 of the schedule to the constitu- 
tion of 1834 declared tliat the seat of government should be determined 
upon within the first week after the commencement of the session of the 
General Assembly in 1843. That body convened on Monday, October 1, 
of that year, and the first subject to engage its attention was the location 
of the capital. Almost every town in the State, having any pretension 
at all to eligibility or convenience of position, had its advocates. Thus 
the following places were successively voted upon : Woodbury, McMinn- 
ville, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Kingston, Lebanon, Columbia, Sparta, 
Gallatin, Clarksville, Shelbyville, Harrison, Chattanooga, Cleveland, 
Athens, Knoxville and Nashville. On Thursday, October 4, the Senate 
voted to locate the seat of government at Kingston, Roane County, and 
the House at Murfreesboro. But finally, on the Saturday following, 
Nashville was agreed upon by both houses, and became the capital of the 
State. This result is mainly attributable to the liberality of the town 
selected, the corporation having purchased Campbell's Hill, at a cost of 
$30,000 and donated it to the State as a site for the capitol building. An 
interesting anecdote is told in connection with this property. Many years 
previous, Judge Campbell had sold a cow and calf to a neighbor, who, 
subsequently determining to remove from the country, notified his cred- 


itor that a rifle and Cedar Hill was all lie had to give for the debt. 
The Judge accepted them, thinking that the sum he might be able to 
sell the gun for would be all that he would realize for the cow and calf; 
besides the four acres, which he sold to the city, he disposed of several 
lots to individuals, and retained the one upon which his residence was 
built, opposite the south front of the capitol.* 

Previous to this time the meetings of the Legislature in Nashville 
had been held in the Davidson County Court House, but the build- 
ing had become too small for the constantly increasing membership of 
that body, and the building of a capitol was a necessity. Now that the 
seat of government had become fixed, no obstacle lay in the way of be- 
ginning the work, and on January 30, 1844, an act was passed milking 
the first appropriation for that purpose, $10,000. Gov. William Carroll, 
"William Nichol, John M. Bass, Samuel D. Morgan, James Erwin and 
Morgan W. Brown were appointed commissioners, to whom were added, 
May 14, 1844, James Woods, Joseph T. Elliston and Allen A. Hall. 
John M. Bass was appointed chairman March 31, 1848, andheld the posi- 
tion until March 31, 1854, when Samuel D. Morgan was appointed. April 
20, 1854, John Campbell, John S. Young and Jacob McGavock were 
appointed commissioners by Gov. Andrew Johnson. By act of February 
28, 1854, R. J. Meigs and James P. Clark were appointed commissioners, 
and John D. Winston was appointed by the governor. The following 
governors of the State were cx-officio commissioners: James C. Jones, 
Aaron V. Brown, Neill S. Brown, William Trousdale, William B. Camp- 
bell, Andrew Johnson and Isham G. Harris. Clearing of the ground for 
the site was begun about January 1, 1845 ; foundations were dug and 
nearly finished by the 4th of July, on which day the corner-stone was 
laid in the southeast corner of the building with imposing ceremonies. 
An eloquent oration was delivered on the occasion by the Hon. Edwin H. 

On the 20th of May previous William Strickland, the designer of 
many of the finest public buildings in Philadelphia, was appointed archi- 
tect, and fi'om this time the building was carried on regularly and 
steadily without error or interruption till the time of his death, April 7, 
1854. His funeral ceremonies were conducted in Representative Hall, 
and he was entombed in a recess, which he had prepared about a year 
before, in the wall of the north basement portico. After the death of 
Mr. Strickland the work was for several years carried on by his son, W. 
E. Strickland. The last stone of the tower was laid July 21, 1855, and 
the last stone of the lower terrace March 19, 1859. This completed the 

*" Old Times in Tennessee." 


stoue work. The building was first occupied by the Legislature October 
3, 1853. For several years the greater portion of the efficient convict 
labor was employed in quarrying the stone for the capitol, and after its 
completion the same kind of labor was used in improving the grounds. 
The entire cost to the State of the building and grounds up to 1859 
amounted to $900,500. The $30,000 paid for the site by the city, added 
to the amount expended in completing the grounds, makes a total cost of 
something over $1,000,000. The following description of the building 
is taken from the architect's report and other sources: 

"The State-house is parallelogram in form, 112x239 feet, with an eleva- 
tion of 64 feet 8 inches above an elevated terrace walk which surrounds 
it, or 74 feet 8 inches above the ground. Eising through the center of 
the roof is the tower, 3G feet square and 80 feet high. The main idea 
of the elevation of the building is that of a Greek Ionic temple erected 
upon a rustic basement, which in turn appears to rest upon a terraced 
pavement. The building has four fronts, each graced with a noble por- 
tico. The end porticoes, north and south, are each composed of eight 
magnificent Ionic columns ; the side porticoes, east and west, are composed 
each of six columns. These columns, twenty-eight in all, are each 4 
feet in diameter, 33 feet high, and rest upon the entablature of the 
basement. This entablature is supported by a rusticated pier, rising 
through the basement story under each column of the portico above. 
The end porticoes are capped by an entablature, which is continued around 
the building, and above which is a heavy pediment. The side porticoes 
are capped by the entablature and double blocking courses. The build- 
ing inside is divided into three stories: the crypt, or cellar; the base- 
ment, or first floor; and the main or second floor. The crypt is used for 
the State arsenal and for furnaces, etc. 

" The basement story is intersected by longitudinal and tra*nsverse 
halls of wide dimensions, to the right and left of which large and com- 
modious rooms are appropriated to the use of the governor, the comp- 
troller, the treasurer, the secretary of state, register of lands, superin- 
tendent of weights and measures and keeper of public arms, superin- 
tendent of public instruction, and the commissioner of agriculture, sta- 
tistics and mines. There is also an archive room, which is 34 feet square, 
and a supreme court room, which is 35x52 feet, 8 inches. From the great 
central hall the principal story is approached by a double flight of 
stairs, the hand-railing of which is of East Tennessee marble. The lon- 
gitudinal hall of this floor is 128 feet 2 inches long by 24 feet 2 inche.'; 
wide, while the dimensions of the transverse hall are the same as that of 
the basement. This story is divided into three apartments: representa- 


tive liall, the senate chamber and the library. The main floor of repre- 
sentative hall, 61x97 feet, is flanked on the east and west sides by eight 
committee rooms, 16 feet 8 inches square. Above these rooms are the 
public galleries, each of which is fronted by eight columns of the 
Eoman Ionic order, 2 feet 8 inches in diameter, and 21 feet 10 inches 
hiofh. The shaft of each column is of one block of stone surmounted 
by exceedingly graceful and elaborate capitals, the device of the archi- 
tect. The speaker's stand and screen wall are composed of red, white 
and black Tennessee marble. The chandelier is one of the largest and 
most elaborate in the country. It possesses the merit of being original 
in style and novel in design, though it is not graceful nor altogether 
pleasing to the eye. The senate chamber is of an oblong shape from 
35 to 70 feet, having pilasters of the Ionic order with a full entablature, 
and is surrounded on three sides by a gallery 10 feet 9 inches wide sup- 
ported by twelve columns of variegated East Tennessee marble. This 
room also has a chandelier, similar in design to that of the representa- 
tive hall, though smaller and of better proportions. Immediately opposite 
the senate chamber are the rooms containing the state library. The 
main room is 35 feet square, with two smaller rooms on each side. From 
the main room a spiral stairway of iron leads to the two galleries above, 
the lower one of which extends entirely around the room, and the upper 
one on two sides. 

"Above the center of the building through the roof rises the tower 
supported by four massive piers 10 or 12 feet built from the ground. 
The design of the tower, which is one of the finest features of the entire 
structure, is a modified reproduction of the "Choragic Monument of 
Lysicrates," or, as it is sometimes called, the "Lantern of Demos- 
tlienes." The tower is composed of a square rustic base, 36 feet square 
and 42 feet high, with a window in each front. Above this the lantern 
or round part of the tower rises 26 feet 8 inches in diameter by 37 feet 
high. It consists of a circular cell with eight beautiful three-quarters 
fluted Corinthian columns attached around its outer circumference with 
alternate blank and pierced windows between each two columns in each 
of the two stories of the cell. The columns have each a very elaborate 
and beautifully wi'ought capital of the purest Corinthian style, and above 
all a heavy entablature. The column shafts are 2 feet 6 inches in 
diameter by 27 feet 8 inches high, and capital 4 feet high. The roof 
and iron finial ornament are together 34 feet high above the last stone of 
the tower, making the whole height of the edifice above the ground 206 
feet 7 inches, or over 400 feet above low water mark in the Cumberland 


"The roof of the building is constructed of rafters composed of 
wrouo-ht iron ties and braces, trussed in sections, and joined together by 
cast iron plates and knees. The greatest span of these rafters is over 
Eepresentative Hall, a distance of sixty-five feet. The whole is sheathed 
and covered with copper. The walls of the building for the founda- 
tion are 7 feet thick; those of the superstructure 4 feet and 6 inches. 
All of the inside walls are laid with rubble stone ; the terraces, pave- 
ments and the round part of the tower, chiseled; the outer walls of 
the first story and the square part of the tower, rusticated work and 
tooled. The material of the building is of a stratified fossiliferous lime- 
stone of slightly bluish-gray tint with cloud-like markings. It was pro- 
cured within half a mile west of the building in a quarry opened by the 
State on the grounds of Samuel Watkins. Stones have been quarried 
from this place, weighing in their rough state, fifteen or twenty tons, and 
thirty and more feet long. One of the terrace stones of the building is 
S feet 3 inches by 14 feet, and the cap stones of the terrace buttresses are 5 
feet 10 inches by 15 feet 11 inches, the heaviest weighing probably eight 
or ten tons. The stone may be considered both as to durability and 
beauty of appearance when worked well, equal to any building stone in" 
the country. Nearly all the materials, in addition to the stone, used in 
the construction of the building, were produced in Tennessee, and the 
work was mainly done ])y Tennessee workmen — a magnificent monument 
to the mechanical skill and the resources of the State." 

One of the most interesting objects to be seen upon Capitol Hill is 
the magnificent equestrian statue of Gen. Jackson. So long ago as the 
session of the General Assembly* of 1845-4(3, the idea was conceived of 
erecting at the capitol in Nashville a statue in honor of Gen. Andrew 
Jackson, w^hose death took place June 8, 1845 ; and an act was passed the 
2d of February, 1846, appropriating the sum of $7,500, "when a suffi- 
cient sum shall be subscribed by the people in connection therewith to 
complete said monument." Commissioners were appointed in the sixth 
section of said act to receive any voluntary contributions, control the dis- 
bursements of all funds, contract with an American sculptor or artist, and 
superintend the erection of said statue. For various reasons no further 
action was taken in the matter for many years though, it was by no 
means forgotten. Early in the month of January, 1879, Gen. Marcus J. 
"Wright, of Washington City, addressed a letter to the vice-president of 
the Tennessee Historical Society, suggesting that Clark Mill's eques- 
trian statue of Gsn. Jackson was on sale, expressing the hope that Ten- 
nessee could be induced to make the purchase and tendering his services 

♦Report of the Legislative Committee ol" the Jackson Statue. 




to aid in the negotiation. A correspondence ensued between Gen. 
Wright and the vice-president, and then papers, with a letter from Mills 
sti[)ulating the price, were laid before the society. There was a discus- 
sion of plans for obtaining the requisite funds to make the purchase, but 
nothing definite was agreed upon and the vice-president was instructed 
to communicate for the society with Gen. Wright and also to con- 
fer with the governor of the State as to the policy of applying to the 
General Assembly for an appropriation. After due deliberation, the 
time was not deemed opportune to invoke the assistance of the State, and 
the society did not care to have any future prospect clouded by a denial 
of favorable legislation. At a meeting held July 1, 1879, the sub- 
ject was again brought up. Various plans for raising the money were 
proposed, none of which, however, commanded that assurance of success 
whicli warranted immediate action, and the measure was indefinitely post- 
[loned. At a subsequent meeting of the society and of the citizens of 
Nashville to make arrangements for the centennial anniversary to be cel- 
ebrated in 1880, an enthusiasm was aroused which spread through the 
entire community. There was a pause in the pursuit of individual in- 
terests and the moment given to an unselfish and patriotic inspiration. 
Memories of the past seem to rise spontaneously in the public mind, and 
it doubtless occurred to more than one that the conjuncture of circum- 
stances was favorable for the acquisition of the Jackson statue. Such a 
thought did certainly occur to a venerable and patriotic citizen of Nash- 
ville, Maj. John L. Brown, who, early after the meeting in December, ex- 
pressed his intention to try to raise, by voluntary subscriptions, the money 
necessary for the purchase. 

He wrote to Senator Harris and Maj. Blair, of Washington City, to 
make inquiry as to the cost of the statue, which was found to be $5,000. 
Several letters written by Col. Bullock on the subject of the purchase 
were published, and gave renewed impetus to the movement. Maj. 
Brown, continuing his efforts, secured the appointment of the president 
and secretary of the Historical Society with himself as "a committee for 
the purchasing of the statue for the State of Tennessee." Every means 
and appliance was used to further the enterprise, and by the 18th of 
March, 1880, the list of subscribers had so increased that success being 
in sight the Centennial board of directors incorporated a committee of 
seven members, to be known as the committee for the purchase and 
dedication of the equestrian statue of Gen. Jackson, of which Gen. G. 
B. Thurston became chairman. The subscription soon aggregated an 
amount near or quite $5,000, which justified the consummation of the 


On the 20th of May, 1880, in the presence of a vast assemblage of 
people, the statue was unveiled with appropriate and impressive ceremonies. 
Hon. John F. House was the orator of the day, an original ode written 
by Rev. F. W. E. Paschau was sung, prayer was offered by Rev. T. A. 
Hoyt, and a prize poem, by Mrs. Bowser, was read by Dr. G. S. Blaekie. 
A grand military procession paraded tlie street, in which several United. 
States officers, including Gen. Buell, Gen. Pennypacker and others, 
together with Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Gen. Cheatham and others of 
the old Confederate Army, participated. Clark Mills, the sculptor, was 
an invited guest, and in speaking of the statue stated that it is a tripli- 
cate of the one standing in front of the President's house in Washington, 
which was not only the first equestrian statue ever self-poised on the 
hind feet, but was also the first ever modeled and cast in the United 
States. " The incident selected for representation in this statue occurred 
at the battle of New Orleans, on the 8th of January, 1815. The com- 
mander-in-chief has advanced to the center of the lines in the act of 
review. The lines have come to present arms as a salute to their com- 
mander, who acknowledges it by raising his chapeau four inches from 
his head according to the military etiquette of that period. But his 
restive horse, anticipating the next evolution, rears and attempts to dash 
down the line, while his open mouth and curved neck show that he is 
being controlled by the hand of his noble rider." The statue was first 
placed on a temporary pedestal of wood, fronting northward, with the 
head of the horse turned toward the Capitol. April G, 1881, an appro- 
priation of $2,000 was made for the purpose of placing a marble or 
granite base under the statue, which was accordingly done about three 
years later. 

For some years previous to 1854 the State Library consisted entirely 
of donations from the General Government and from other States of the 
Union, and of the State's own publications. Counting a large number 
of duplicates, there were aboiit 10,000 volumes, but only about 1,500 or 
2,000 separate works. The books were kept in a room which was devot- 
ed to that purpose, in the Davidson County Court House, and which 
formed a kind of passage-way or ante-room to the governor and secre- 
tary of states' office, and the Representative Chamber.* It was conse- 
quently open all day, and even at night. On account of this negligence 
a large number of the law reports of the various States were misplaced, 
lost or stolen. In 1853, when the Legislature first met in the Capitol, 
the books were removed to that place, and by an act of January 20, 1854, 
the secretary of State was constituted ex officio librarian, with instruc- 
tions to keep the library open at least one day in the week. 

*The Legislature then met in the Court House, 


By the active eiuleavors of a few enlightened men who knew the 
great need of a State Library, the Legislature was induced to insert two 
sections referring to the library into the general appropriation bill of 
1854 It appropriated ^5,000 to purchase a library, and K J. Meigs 
was appointed a commissioner to j^rocure books. A very excellent se- 
lection of books was made, and they were placed in the north ante-room 
of the library, the larger room not having been fitted up at that time. 

March 1, 1856, ^500 per annum was appropriated to make additions 
to the library, and R. J. Meigs was appointed librarian at a salary of 
$500. With the exception of the years from 1861 to 1868, from that 
time until 1879 annual appropriations varying from $500 to $2,500 were 
made for the purchase of additional books. Since 1871, however, no 
new books have been added, except those obtained by exchange with other 
States. The library now contains about 35,000 volumes of well-selected 
standard works, but in recent literature it is very deficient. 

For the past eight years this institution has been under the manage- 
ment of Mrs. S. K. Hatton, and her daughter. Miss Emma Hatton, the 
assistant librarian, and too much praise can not be accorded them for 
the fidelity and courtesy with which they have discharged their duties. 

The Tennessee Deaf and Dumb School owes its origin to the benevo- 
lent impulses and the prompt and persistent action of Gen. John Cocke, 
of Grainger County, while a member of the senatorial branch of the 
General Assembly. On December 20, 1843, a bill providing for the es- 
tablishment in Nashville of an institution for the blind, being on its third 
reading before the Senate, Gen. Cocke moved to amend by the addition 
of a section providing for the appropriation of $2,000 for putting into 
operation at Knoxville, a deaf and dumb school. After the substitution of 
$1,000 for $2,000 the amendment was adopted, and then the entire bill 
was rejected by a vote of eleven to thirteen. On the following day the vote 
was reconsidered, and other amendments were adopted. The vote on Gen. 
Cocke's amendment was reconsidered by a majority of three, but it was again 
adopted by a majority of one, and the bill was finally passed in the Senate 
December 21, 1843. The bill then went to the House, where on its 
third reading it was rejected by a majority of three, but the vote was subse- 
quently reconsidered, and the bill in the form in which it had left the 
Senate was passed January 29, 1844. The governor appointed, to 
constitute the first board of trustees, Messrs. R. B. McMullen, Joseph. 
Estabrook and D. R. McAnally, who met at Knoxville, July 27, 1844, 
and organized by electing Mr. McMullen, president, and Mr. McAnally, 

These gentlemen immediately went to work with characteristic zeal, 


opening correspondence with officers of similar institutions in other 
States, obtaining information as to the number and situation of the deaf 
mutes in this State, selecting a suitable building in which to open the 
school, and securing the services of a competent instructor for the pupils. 
Rev. Thomas Mclntire, a former teacher in the Ohio Deaf and Dumb 
SchooJ, was made the first principal, and under his charge the exercises 
of the school were begun in what was known as the Churchwell House, in 
East Knoxville, in June, 1845. By an act passed January 31, 1846, the 
General Assembly recognized the existence of the institution, incorpo- 
rated it, made better provision for its support, and added Messrs. T. Sul- 
lins, J. H. Cowan and Campbell Wallace to its board of trustees. 

It now became a leading object of the board to procure means for the 
erection of more appropriate buildings for the purposes of the school, 
and measures tending to that end were promptly undertaken and vigor- 
ously prosecuted. The board issued circular letters to the benevolent 
throughout the State, applied to Congress for a donation of public lands, 
established several local agencies, and fortunately placed in the position 
of manager of a general soliciting and collecting agency,* Col. John M. 
Davis, of Knox County. These efforts met with gratifying success, and 
over $4,000 was contributed by individuals. This sum, supplemented by 
appropriations made by the Legislature, enabled the trustees to erect a 
large and commodious building, at a cost of about $20,000. As origin- 
ally built it consisted of a main building 25x79 feet and three stories 
high, Avith two wings of the same size as the main building, altogether 
formijig a main front to the south of 100 feet, and east and west front of 
129 feet each. The grounds belonging to the institution were obtained 
at different times by gift and purchase. They now embrace about eight 
acres lying in a rectangular form, entirely surrounded by streets, and are 
handsomely improved. The original site, consisting of two acres, was 
donated by Calvin Morgan, of Knoxville, and the remaining six acres 
were purchased at a cost of about $G,000. 

After becoming permanently established in the new building the 
school -rapidly increased, both in numbers and efficiency. During the 
first session the number of pupils in attendance was nine, while in 1857 
the number had increased to eighty. In the year 1861 the school was 
among the largest institutions of the kind in the country, and received a 
liberal support from the State. The whole building had been refur- 
nished in a creditable manner, and the grounds were highly ornamented. 
But the war came. The school was disbanded, and the buildings were 
taken possession of by the military authorities, and were used by the con- 

*Coiilpiled from a report by Thomas L. Moses. 


tending armies in turn for hospital purposes. In 1866 tlie buildings 
were turned over to the trustees in a badly damaged condition, and after 
some repairs had been made the school was again opened December 
3 of that year. Owing to the financial embarrassment of the State the 
appropriations to the institution for some time were scarcely adequate to 
supply its wants, and it required the exercise of the strictest economy on 
the part of its management to maintain the school. In 1873, however, 
the appropriation of ,^10,000 placed it upon a firm financial basis, and 
since that time it has been in a most prosperous condition. A few years 
ago a new chapel was erected and other improvements made, so that at 
present the institution can comfortably accommodate 125 pupils. 

In the fall of 1881 a school for colored mutes was opened in a rented 
house in East Knoxville, about one mile from the main building. The 
school numbered ten pupils, and was taught by Matt R. Mann, the pres- 
ent teacher, and a former pupil of the institution. Two years later a 
substantial brick building, with twenty-seven acres of land, situated 
about a mile east of the town, was rented for the use of the school. The 
number of pupils in this department in 1884 was seventeen. The white 
]:)upils for the same time numbered about 100. On December 24, 1882,- 
Mr. J. H. Ijams, who had been principal of the school for sixteen years, 
died, and Thomas L. Moses was elected to fill the vacancy, which posi- 
tion he still holds. This noble charity is well managed, and too much 
praise cannot be awarded to the patient, conscientious teachers, who have 
dedicated their lives to the work of educating these unfortunate children. 

The first school for the education of the blind in America was opened 
in Boston 1832. So favorable were the results obtained, that the subject 
was agitated throughout the country, and within the next twenty years 
nearly every State had made some provision for the education of her 
sightless children. In 1843 an exhibition was given in one of the 
churches of Nashville, showing the ability of the blind to read by the 
sense of touch. A good audience was assembled, to a majority of whom, 
the method of reading by the fingers was something new and surprising. 
An enthusiastic interest was awakened. The Legislature was petitioned 
for aid to establish a school, and $1,500 was appropriated by that body 
annually for two years. With this sum, increased by private subscrip- 
tions, a house was rented and furnished and the school opened. Mr. 
James Champlin, who had given the exhibition, was selected as the first 
teacher. He proved to be incompetent, and in a few months thereafter 
W. H. Churchman was elected principal. The pupils then numbered 
about fifteen. 

In 1846 a charter nominating J. T. Edgar, R. B. C. Howell*, J. T. 


"Wlieat and A. L. P. Green, as a board of trustees, was granted to the 
school, and the annual appropriations for the next two years was increased 
to $2,500. The household and domestic department was placed under 
the control of Mrs. John Bell, Mrs. William H. Morgan, Mrs. Matthew 
"Watson and Mrs. Joseph H. Marshall, all of whom had taken a deep in- 
terest in the institution from the first. After serving as principal of the 
school less than two years, Mr. Churchman resigned the position to en- 
ter upon a broader field of labor in Indiana, and Mr. E. W. Wlielan, of 
Philadelphia, was elected to take his place, which he retained until May, 
1849, when he was succeeded by Jacob Berry, also of Philadelphia. In 
little more than a month Mr. Berry died of cholera, also the matron, 
steward, and several of the most promising pupils. Mr. Whelan volun- 
teered in the midst of suffering and death to take charge of the school 
temporarily. His offer was accepted, and after holding the position a 
short time he was succeeded by Mr. Fortescue, who resigned in about 
two months. These frequent changes in the managemant of the school 
and still more the fatal visitation of cholera within the household, hin- 
dered its growth and retarded the improvement of the pupils. 

In November, 1850, J. M. Sturtevant was engaged to superintend the 
school. He took charge of it the following January, and for many years 
very acceptably performed the duties of the office. In 1852 a lot was 
purchased from the University of Nashville, and an appropriation was 
made for the erection of a building upon it. By the following January 
a house sufficiently spacious to meet the requirements of the school was 
completed. Additions were afterward made, and the grounds gradually 
improved until June, 1861, the whole cost of buildings and grounds hav- 
ing been, up to that time, about $25,000. In November of that year the 
building was demanded for the accommodation of the sick and wounded 
Confederates. The trustees refused to give it up, and on the 18th of the 
month the immates "were summarily ejected." The pupils who had no 
homes were distributed to private residences, and the furniture was stored 

After the Federals took possession of Nashville, in February, 1862, 
they continued to use it as a hospital until November, when by order of 
J. St. Clair Morton, Chief Engineer of the Army of the Ohio, the build- 
ing, together with all surrounding improvements, was entirely destroyed. 
At the close of the war a few of the pupils were collected and the school 
was reorganized. In October, 1872, Hon. John M. Lea, for $15,000, pur- 
chased the Claiborne residence with about seven acres of land, for the 
purpose of donating it to the Tennessee School for the Blind, to which it 
was conveyed immediately after the purchase. The Legislature of 1873 


acknowledged the excellence o£ the location and the munificence of the 
gift by appropriating $40,000 for the erection of a building "commen- 
surate with the wants of a first-class institution." A competent architect 
was employed, and it was decided to erect a wing on both the north and 
south sides of the mansion, giving when completed, an entire front of 
205 feet. To do this required additional appropriations. The next Gen- 
eral Assembly added $30,000 and the Legislature of 1879 set apart $34- 
000 for the use of the school, a portion of which, it was provided, might 
be expended in improvements upon the building. About three years 
ago provision was made for the admission of colored pupils, and a sepa- 
rate department was established for them. 

Although there are many larger institutions of the kind in this coun- 
try, with more costly buildings and grounds, yet in excellence of manage- 
ment and thoroughness of results, it is unexcelled. 

In addition to a literary education the boys are taught some simple 
mechanical trade, and the girls are instructed in sewing, and bead and 
other ornamental work. Much attention is also given to music, some 
of the graduates of that departmeii^ having become excellent teachers. 
The school is now under the superintendency of Prof. L. A. Bigelow, and 
in December, 1884, had an enrollment of sixty-nine pupils, eight of 
whom were colored. 

October 19, 1832, the Legislature passed an act to establish a lunatic 
hospital in this State, to be located in Davidson County, near Nashville, 
Francis Porterfield, Joseph Woods, Henry R. W. Hill, James Roane, 
Felix Robertson and Samuel Hogg were appointed commissioners to pur- 
chase a site and to erect a building, for which purpose $10,000 were 
appropriated. A small tract of land, about one mile from the city, was 
obtained, and the erection of the building begun. From some cause the 
work progressed very slowly, and the asylum was not ready for occu- 
pancy until 1840. Three years later there were only thirteen patients in 
the institution, which up to that time had cost the State over $56,000. 

In 1847 the well-known philanthropist, Miss D. L. Dix, visited Ten- 
nessee, and finding the accommodations for the insane inadequate, me- 
morialized the Legislature, and aroused the representatives of the people 
to take action upon the subject. It was decided to dispose of the old 
hospital and grounds and to erect new buildings on some more favorable 
site. The old grounds were too small, the water supply insufficient, the 
location unhealthy, and the arrangement of the building itself not good. 

By authority of the legislative act the governor appointed nine com- 
missioners to purchase a new site. They selected a large farm about six 
miles from Nashville, on the Murfreesboro pike, one of the healthiest 


localities in the State. Dr. John S. Young was employed as superin- 
tendent and A. Heiman as architect of the building to be erected. 
Before entering upon their work they visited various asylums in the 
North and East for the purpose of perfecting their plans. Butler Asy- 
lum, of Providence, R. I., was finally chosen as a model, with a slight 
change in the architecture. 

In 1849, with an appropriation of $75,000, the work of erection 
began, and in April, 1852, the patients were removed from the old hos- 
pital. Two years later two large wings were added, making the whole 
building capable of accpmmodating 250 patients. During the entire 
process of erection Miss Dix, who has made a study of buildings of this 
character, lent her aid and assistance, and so highly was this apprecia- 
ted that a room was especially fitted up for her to occupy whenever she 
chose to visit the institution.* The Tennessee Hospital for the Insane 
is of the castellated style of architecture, with twenty-four octagonal 
towers of proportionate dimensions, jjlaced on the corners of the main 
building and its wings, while from the center of the main building rises 
a larger octagonal tower, twenty-five feet above the roof, and sixteen feet 
in diameter. A range of battlements from tower to tower surrounds the 
whole edifice, following the angles of the several projections, giving a 
fine relief to it from any point of view. The extreme length of the main 
building and its wings from east to west is 405 feet and 210 feet from 
north to south. There are two airing courts in this area, each about 150 
feet square. The height of the main building from the ground to the top 
of the main tower is eighty-five feet. The center, right and left of the 
main building are four stories high without the basement; the interven- 
ing ranges and the wings are three stories high. Its interior arrange- 
ment and structure are in accordance with the most approved plans. In 
all the minutise of detail, the comfort, convenience and health of the 
patients have been very carefully studied. The ventilation of the build- 
ing is a decided feature in its construction. It is carried on by means of 
a centrifugal fan seventeen feet in diameter, driven by a steam-engine. 
The air is conducted through subterranean passages to the central cham- 
bers in the basement, and thence through the steam-pipe chambers into 
vertical flues passing through the entire building. The quantity of air 
discharged may be carried up to 70,000 cubic feet per minute to each 
occupant. Thus a constant supply of pure fresh air may be kept up 
during the most oppressive weather. The means of heating the build- 
ing are no less complete. The series of vertical flues before alluded to 
are constructed in the longitudinal walls of the halls, starting from a coil 

♦History of Davidson County and the Architect's Report. 


of pipe or hot-air chambers in the basement story, from the halls and 
rooms of the different stories near the floor. By this arrangement the 
air supply is constant without reference to any external condition of 
weather or temperature. Water is pumped by the engine from a reser- 
voir to a tank in the center of the building, and from thence distributed 
by pipes to other parts of the institution. Soon after the war suit- 
able quarters removed from the main building were erected by the State, 
at a cost of about $25,000, for the accommodation of the colored insane. 
The grounds now include 480 acres, and the entire property is valued at 
about $400,000. 

This admirably managed charity has been under the superintendency 
of Dr. John H. Calleuder for several years, and has accomplished a 
vast amount of good in extending the most helpful and tender ministra- 
tions to the suffering insane. In December, 1884, the whole number of 
patients in the institution was 412, of whom a few were colored. The 
annual cost per patient for the two years previous was $178.68. In 1883 
the superintendent, as he had done in many previous reports, urged upon 
the Legislature the necessity of providing more accommodations for the 
insane of the State. At that session $80,000 was appropriated for the 
East Tennessee Insane Asylum, to be erected near Knoxville upon the 
property known as Lyon's View, which the State had purchased for that 
purpose some time before. Agreeably to the provision of the act mak- 
ing the appropriation the governor appointed R. H. Armstrong, J. C. 
Flanders and Columbus Powell, all of Knoxville, to constitute a board of 
directors, who promptly organized and elected W. H. Cusack, of Nash- 
ville, architect, and Dr. Michael Campbell, of Nashville, superintending 
physician of construction. The board of directors, with the superintend- 
ing physician and architect, after visiting some of the most famous asy- 
lums in the country, adopted a plan embracing the latest improvements, 
both sanitary and architectural. The asylum consists of nine buildings, 
including an administration building, chapel, kitchen, laundry, boiler- 
house and engine-house. The main front is 472 feet long. The wards 
consist of 174 rooms that will accommodate from 250 to 300 patients. 
In 1885 the original appropriation had been exhausted, and an additional 
sum of $95,000 was granted by the Legislature for the completion of the 
buildings. The asylum was ready for occupancy March 1, 1886, and a 
transfer of the patients belonging to East Tennessee was made. No more 
beautiful and desirable spot could have been chosen for an insane asy- 
lum than Lyon's View. Within four miles of the city of Knoxville, high 
in elevation, commanding a full view of the river and the adjacent heights 
with their attractive scenery, the location possesses in itself all the 


requirements that could possibly be desired in an institution designed for 
the comfort, care and cure of the unfortunate insane.* The asylum 
itself is one of the most stately and best equipped in the country, and 
stands an honorable monument to the munificent charity of Tennessee. 

Even with these two large asylums it was found that not all of this 
unfortunate class, who are peculiarly the wards of the State, could be 
accommodated, and an appropriation of $85,000 was made for the erec- 
tion of a similar institution in West Tennessee. John M. Lea, John H. 
Callendar and W. P. Jones were appointed commissioners to select a site 
and superintend the construction of the buildings. These commissioners, 
after spending several weeks in visiting and carefully examining several 
places, selected a point between three and four miles northwest of Boli- 
var, in Hardeman County. The structure will be of brick with white 
stone trimmings. Its length will be 750 feet, with a depth of 40 feet. 
The central or main portion of the building will be five stories high, and 
will be occupied by the oJEfices and domestic apartments of the officers. 
On either side of the main building are to be two sections four stories 
high, separated from each other by fire-proof walls. Between the tiers 
of rooms will be large corridors, and above each corridor lofty flues, all 
so arranged as to secure perfect ventilation and sufficient light. The 
building will cost over $200,000, without the furnishing, and will accom- 
modate 250 patients. 

Previous to the adoption of the penitentiary system, the severity of 
the penal laws of the State tended rather to increase than to decrease the 
number of crimes committed. As the means of punishment were limited 
to the whipping-post, stocks, pillory, county jail, the branding-iron and 
the gallows, the penalties were either lighter than could prove effective, 
or else in severity out of all proportion to the offense committed. In 
either case the result was the same, the severe penalty frequently pre- 
venting conviction. The penalty, as expressed in the following act passed 
October 23, 1799, is an example of the punishments inflicted for crimes of 

that character: 

Be it enacted, "That from and after the passage of this act any person who shall 
be guilty of feloniously stealing, taking or carrying away any horse, mare or gelding, 
shall for such offense suffer death without benefit of clergy." 

For some years after the organization of the State many of the penal 
laws remained the same as before its separation from North Carolina. 
In 1807 an act was passed by the General Assembly fixing a somewhat 
lighter penalty for several felonies. For grand larceny, arson and 
malicious prosecution, the penalty for the first offense was the infliction 
upon the bare back of a number of lashes, not to exceed thirty-nine, 

*Gov. Bate. I 


imprisonment in the county jail for a term not to exceed twelve months, 
and to "be rendered infamous, according to the laws of the land." For 
the second offense, the penalty was death. The penalties for forgery 
and perjury were even more severe. In the earlier days of civilization 
such punishments would have been deemed mild, but at the time in which 
these laws were passed, the growth of humanizing influences rendered 
their cruelty apparent, and not infrequently the culprit escaped convic- 
tion more on account of the sympathy of the judge and jury than from a 
lack of sufficient evidence against him. This fact was recognized, and 
the successive governors in nearly every message urged upon the General 
Assembly the necessity of establishing a penitentiary. In 1813 an act 
was passed requiring the clerk of each county court to keep a subscrip- 
tion list for the purpose of permitting persons "to subscribe a Ay amount 
they may think proper for erecting a penitentiary." This plan of raising 
money for that purpose was not a success, as four years later the total 
sum subscribed amounted to only ^2,173.40, a great part of which the 
committee appointed to investigate the matter thought could not be col- 
lected. In 1819 Gov. McMinn again brought the subject before the 
Legislature. In his message he says: "Notwithstanding some fruitless 
attempts have been made toward establishing a penitentiary in this State, 
yet I think it my duty to bring the subject before you, and with an 
earnest hope that in your wisdom and in your love of humanity and jus- 
tice you will lend your aid in commencing a work which will do lasting 
honor to its founders." Nothing more, however, was done until October 
28, 1829, when the act providing for the building of the penitentiary 
became a law. The ground selected for the site of the institution con- 
tains about ten acres, and is situated about one mile southwest of the 
court house in Nashville. Contracts for the building were let in April, 
1830, and work was immediately begun, under the supervision of the 
architect, David Morrison. The rock used in its construction was 
quarried upon the ground, and so vigorously was the work prosecuted 
that a proclamation was issued by the governor January 1, 1831, an- 
nouncing the penitentiary open to receive prisoners. At the same time 
the revised penal code went into effect. The following description of the 
building as it originally appeared is taken from a Nashville paper issued 
December 7, 1830: "The principal front of the building presents a 
southern exposure, is 310 feet long, and consists of a center and two 
wings. The former, slightly projecting, is composed of brick embel- 
lished with cut stone dressing, 120 feet long, 32 feet wide, and three 
stories high. It contains the warden and keeper's apartments, two in- 
firmaries, an apartment for confining female convicts, and sundry other 


rooms for the use of the establishment. In surveying the front of the 
center building, the most conspicuous feature that strikes the eye is a 
large gateway in the center 23 feet high, 14 feet wide, the piers and arch 
being formed of large blocks of well-polished white stone, and filled by a 
massive wrought iron port-cullis weighing nearly a ton. The wings are 
constructed of large blocks of well-dressed lime stone, the wall being 4 
feet thick and 33 feet high, pierced with narrow, grated windows corre- 
sponding in height with those of the center. On the center of the build- 
ing, and immediately over the gateway above described, rises a splendid 
Doric cupola that accords with the noble proportions of the whole. In 
the rear of the building a wall 30 feet high incloses an area of 310 
square feet. At each angle of the wall is a tower for the purpose of 
viewing tile establishment." The entire cost of the building was about 
$50,000. In 1857 the west wing was added at a cost of $36,000, and in 
1867 two large workshops, known respectively as the east and west 
shops, were built. The first prisoner received into the institution was 
W. G. Cook, from Madison County. It is stated that he was a tailor, 
and was convicted of malicious stabbing and assault and battery. He 
stabbed a man with his shears, and assaulted him with his goose.* He 
was made to cut and make his own suit, the first work done in the peni- 
tentiary. In June, 1833, the cholera began its ravages among the in- 
mates. Its progress was so rapid that in a few days business was entirely 
suspended, and an extra force of nurses and physicians was employed. 
Out of eighty-three convicts not one escaped the disease, and nineteen 
of the number died. The following year the disease again broke out, but 
was not so destructive in its results as before. 

While the number of prisoners was small, they were employed by the 
State under the supervision of appointed officers, in the manufacture of 
various articles of trade. In 1833 they were classified under the follo^\'- 
ing departments: shoe-makers, coopers, stone-cutters, tailors, chair-mak- 
ers, hatters, blacksmiths, wagon-makers, carjjenters and brick-layers. 
Other departments were afterward added and some of the above dropped, 
the aim of the State being to employ as far as possible the convicts upon 
such work as would come into the least competition with private manu- 

This system was employed with more or less success until 1866, when 
the inspectors reported that for the previous thirty-three years the insti- 
tion had cost the State an average of $15,000 per year. The Legislature 
at that session passed an act establishing a board of three directors, who 
were authorized to lease the prison, machinery and convicts to the high- 

*Warden's Report, 18S4. 


est bidders for a term of four years. The lease was made to the firm of 
Hyatt, Briggs & Moore, afterward Ward & Briggs, at 40 cents per day for 
each convict. It was agreed upon the part of the State to provide the 
necessary guards to preserve discipline. The firm entered upon the fulfill- 
ment of the contract. In May, 1867, 300 convicts joined in an attempt 
to escape, and created great excitement. Quiet was restored without 
bloodshed, but the mutinous spirit was not quelled, and the following 
month they succeeded in setting fire to the east shops, which were de- 

A difiiculty then arose between the State and the lessees. The latter 
refused to pay for the labor and claimed damages from the State for this 
failure to preserve discipline and for the losses occasioned by the fire. 
The lease was terminated by mutual agreement July 1, 1869, and the 
matter compromised by the State paying the lessees $132,200.64 for the 
material on hand, and in settlement of the damages claimed by them. 
In December, 1S71, provision was again made for leasing the prisoners 
and shops. The contract was taken by W. H. Cherry, Thomas O'Con- 
nor, A. N. Shook and Gen. W. T. C. Humes, under the firm style of 
Cherry, O'Connor & Co. The second lease was taken December 1, 1876, 
by Messrs. Cherry, O'Connor, A. N. Shook and William Morrow, under 
the old firm name, with M. Allen as superintendent of the works. The 
lease system has proven highly satisfactory. Instead of requiring al- 
most yearly appropriations for its support, the institution now pays an 
annual revenue to the State of $101,000. The present lease, which is 
for six years, began January I, 1884, the Tenpessee Coal, Iron & Eail- 
road Company being the lessees. The headquarters of this company are 
at Tracy City, where about one -third of the prisoners are worked in the 
mines, and where a large and commodious prison has been erected. There 
are also branch prisons at the Inman mines in Marion County, and Coal 
Creek in Anderson County. A few prisoners are worked in marble works 
at Kuoxville. About 40 per cent of the entire number are at the main 
prison, where they are worked under a sub-lease by Cherry, Morrow 
& Co. The firm is engaged exclusively in the manufacture of wagons. 
The shops are equipped with all the latest improved machinery, enabling 
them to turn out about fifty finished wagons per day. In the manufact- 
ure of their wagons they begin with the raw material, making their own 
bent-work, iron-work, castings, thimbles and skeins. Their goods are 
sold throughout the South and Southwest, and also in several of the 
Northern and Western States. 

Under the present lease system the State is relieved from all expense 
of transportation and guarding of prisoners. The only officers connected 


with the institution who are paid by the State are the warden, superin- 
tendent, physician and chaplain. 

The number of convicts in the main prison and branches, December 
1, 1884, was 1,323; in 1880, the number was 1,241; in 1870, 613; in 
1857, 286, and in 1839, 154. During the late war the penitentiary was 
converted into a military prison, and at one time there were as many as 
2,400 inmates. Two fires, the former quite destructive, occurred within 
the past five years. December 4, 1881, the various workshops and ma- 
chinery belonging to the State and the lessees, were destroyed by fire, 
only the main building and cells escaping destruction. At the time over 
700 convicts were within the walls, and it became necessary to turn them 
all out into the space in front of the prison; yet, so well were they man- 
aged, that only six escaped. The shops were immediately rebuilt by the 
State, and the lessees put in new machinery. On January 12, 1884, the 
east end of the blacksmith shop was discovered to be on fire, and as the 
second story was used as a paint shop it threatened to prove very de- 
structive. It was, however, soon brought under control. The loss to the 
State was about ^3,300, which was fully covered by insurance. 

*Many years ago a society for the collection and preservation of his- 
torical papers, relics, antiquities, etc., existed in Nashville, j- It did not 
accomplish much, but its very organization showed the tendency of the 
minds in the city noted for scholarly attainments to endeavor to rescue 
from oblivion the history of a people remarkable for patriotism, chivalry 
and intelligence. After it had ceased to exist for a considerable time 
several public-spirited citizens met in the library-rooms of the Merchants' 
Association, to reorganize an historical society. This was in May, 1849, 
and the organization was effected by the election of Nathaniel Cross as 
president; Col. A. W. Putnam, vice-president; William A. Eichbaum, 
treasurer; J. R. Eakiu, corresponding secretary, and W. F. Cooper, re- 
cording secretary. This society did not exist many years, but was again 
brought to life in 1857, and at the May meeting elected the following 
officers: A. AV. Putnam, president; Thomos Washington, vice-president ; 
W. A. Eichbaum, treasurer; R. J. Meigs, Jr., corresponding secretary; 
Anson Nelson, recording secretary, and John Meigs, librarian. Contri- 
butions of valuable manuscripts, newspapers and relics poured in from 
all parts of the State, as well as a few from other States. 

A public anniversary meeting took place on the 1st of May, 1858, in 
Watkin's Grove. An immense procession of old soldiers of the war of 
1812, the Creek war, the Mexican war, the officers and cadets of the 
Western Military Institute, the Shelby Guards, the Nashville Typo- 

*Prepared by Anson Nelson, Esq., recording secretary. 

tXhe Tennessee Antiquarian tiociety, organized July 1, 1820. Discontinued in August, 1822. 


graphical Union, the Philomathean Society, the teachers and pupils of 
the Nashville Female Academy, the superintendent, teachers and pupils 
of the public schools of Nashville, citizens on horseback, in carriages and 
buggies, and citizens on foot marched from the public square to Watkin's 
Grove, when a collation was served in excellent style to all present. The 
Hon. James M. Davidson, of Fayetteville, was the orator of the day. 
Judge T. T. Smiley read an historical account of the services of the Third 
Tennessee Eegiment in the war with Mexico. Gov. William B. Camp- 
bell and Eev. Dr. C. D. Elliott delivered eloquent addresses. Bands of 
music were distributed along the line of the procession, and the whole 
city made it a holiday occasion to commemorate the organization of the 
"provisional government" at Robertson's Station, now Nashville, May 1, 
1780, and the formation of the society May 1, 1849. At the annual 
celebration, May 1, 1859, Randal W. McGavock, mayor of Nashville and 
a grandson of Hon. Felix Grundy, presented a full length portrait of 
Judge Grundy, painted by Drury. John M. Bright, of Lincoln, delivered 
an eloquent oration on the life, character and public services of the 
renowned statesman and jurist. The exercises took place in the hall of 
the House of Representatives, in the presence of as many people as could 
obtain admittance. 

In September, 1859, a committee, consisting of Hon. Thomas Wash- 
ington, Col. A. W. Putnam and Rev. Dr. R. B. C. Howell, was appointed 
to urge the council of the city of Nashville to adopt suitable measures 
for the removal of the remains of Lieut. Chandler, formerly paymaster in 
the United States Army, from their place of interment in the Sulphur 
Spring Bottom, to Mount Olivet Cemetery. The committee accomplished 
their purpose, and on the 23d of September the remains were exhumed, 
after having lain in the grave for nearly sixty years. The occasion was 
marked by appropriate exercises, Hon. E. H. East delivering a patriotic 

In October, 1859, at the request of the society, Lieut. M. F. Maury, 
the distinguished scientist, delivered his celebrated lecture on the geog- 
raphy of the sea. In January, 1860, the society received from Egypt 
the fine Egyptian mummy now in the Capitol, sent by J. G. Harris of 
the United States Navy. After the meeting in September, 1860, the 
society ceased active operations until several years after the war. Many 
articles were lost during the war, but the small collection of coins was 
preserved intact. 

In 1874 the society reorganized by electing the following officers: 
Dr. J. G, M. Ramsey, president; Dr. R. C. Foster, vice-president; Dr. 
John H. Currey, treasurer ; Gen. G. P. Thurston, corresponding secretary ; 


Anson Nelson, recording secretary, and Mrs. P. Haskell, librarian. On 
June 16, of that year, the society held a called session at Knoxville, the 
home of the President, who presided on that interesting occasion. The 
Eecording Secretary exhibited the original commission of Maj. -Gen. Israel 
Putnam, on parchment, issued June 19, 1775, signed by John Hancock, 
President, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress. 
The society has also in its possession a vest worn by "Old Put," in the 
Pevolutionary war. 

In October, 1874, the society decided to participate in tlie fourth 
annual exposition of Nashville, and on the evening of October 6, the 
anniversary of the battle of King's Mountain, the He v. T. A. Hoyt deliv- 
ered an address giving the history of that important battle. The address 
was also delivered to a large audience in Knoxville. The centennial 
anniversary of the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independ- 
ence, May 20, 1775, was celebrated by the society at the Nashville Fair 
Grounds, Ex-Gov. Niell S. Brown delivering the oration. At the May 
meeting in 1875, several delegates were appointed to attend the centen- 
nial of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence in Charlottsville, 
N. C, only one of whom attended — Hugh L. Davidson, of Shelby ville. 
At the annual meeting in May, 1876, John M. Lea was elected vice-presi- 
dent, vice E. C. Foster; and J. B. Lindsley, librarian, vice Mrs. Haskell. 
The office of treasurer was attached to that of the recording secretary; 
the other offices remained the same as before. 

The National Centennial was duly celebrated by the society in the 
hall of the House of Representatives, Dr. John H. Callender, reading 
the Declaration of Independence. An elegant historical centennial 
address, written by Dr. Kamsey, president of the society, was read by Bev. 
T. A. Hoyt. Other exercises appropriate to the occasion were rendered. 

In 1878 the society commenced agitating the subject of celebrating 
the centennial of Nashville, and appointed a committee on that subject, 
who afterward reported a program for the exercises. Subsequently 
the idea expanded, and finally the society appointed a committee to wait 
upon the mayor and urge him to request the city council to call a public 
meeting to take action in the matter. This was done, and an enthusiastic 
interest was aroused. Various committees were appointed, an exposition 
was inaugurated, the orators chosen by the Historical Society were ap- 
proved, a grand civic procession for the 24:th of April provided for, and 
many other matters arranged to give eclat to the occasion. All of this 
was most successfully carried out, and the most sanguine expectations of 
the Historical Society were more than realized. On April 11, 1884, Dr. 
J. G. M. Bamsey, the distinguished president of the society, died at his 


home in Knoxville. A delegation of members, numbering eleven, went 
from Nashville to be present at the funeral obsequies which took place 
on the 13th, and were attended by a very large number of the citizens of 
Knoxville and the surrounding country. At the next annual meeting in 
May Hon. John M. Lea was elected to the office made vacant by the 
death of Dr. Bamsey, 

The society is indebted to the trustees of Watkins' Institute for the 
use of a large and elegant room in that building, for the exhibition of its 
books, manuscripts and relics, of which it has a great number. 

Among the most interesting relics may be mentioned the musket of 
Daniel Boone, the veritable "Old Betsey;" the sword of Gov. John Se- 
vier, and one of the pistols presented to him by the State of North Caro- 
lina ; the sword of Col. Dupuyser, of the British Army, taken from him at 
the battle of King's Mountain; the red silk sash worn by Gen. Ferguson, 
when he was killed at King's Mountain ; one of the chairs used by Gen. 
Nathaniel Greene ; also one used by President Fillmore ; the sword, coat 
and epaulette of Capt. Samuel Price, worn in the battle of Frenchtown, 
Raisin River, Mich. ; the pitcher used at the treaty of Hopewell ; three 
■canes formerly belonging to President Polk, one in the form of a ser- 
pent, one bearing the electoral vote cast for him for President, the other 
a hickory cane from the Hermitage; the first greenback $5 note 
issued by the United States; the portfolio used by Henry Clay in the 
United States Senate ; over thirty battle-flags used by Tennessee soldiers 
in different wars from 1812 to 1865. 

Among the manuscripts of the society are an old book in an excellent 
state of preservation, kept in Nashville by a merchant in 1795; the jour- 
nals of Gov. William Blount from 1790 to 1796 ; the proceedings of the 
courts martial during Jackson's campaign in 1813, kept by Col. William 
White, acting judge-advocate; journal of Capt. John Donelson and com- 
panions while on their voyage from Holston River down the Tennessee, 
up the Ohio and Cumberland to what is now Nashville in 1779-80. 

The society also possesses portraits of Prof. Priestly, Dr. Gerard 
Troost, Dr. Phillip Lindsley, Hon. Felix Grundy, Dr. J. G. M. Ramsey, 
Anson Nelson, Dr. Felix Robertson and his parents, Henry Clay, Davy 
Crockett and many others, besides portraits of all the governors of the 
State with the exception of two, Roane and McMinn. 

Among the old and rare books are a copy of the Polydori Vergil II, 
in Latin, bound in vellum, printed in 1611; a copy of Cicero's "Discourse 
on old age," printed by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia in 1744; 
"Dioscoridis Mat. Med.," bound in parchment, printed in 1552; copies of 
the Bible printed in 1678 and 1757, respectively. 


The present officers of the society are Hon. John M. Lea, president r 
Ex-Gov. James D. Porter, first vice-president ; Capt. Albert T. McNeal, 
second vice-president; Joseph S. Carels, treasurer; James A. Cart- 
wrio-ht, corresponding secretary; Anson Nelson, recording secretary; 
Eobert T. Quarles, librarian. 

The Medical Society of Tennessee* was incorporated by an act of 
the Legislature, passed January 9, 1830, one hundred and fifty-four 
physicians from the various counties of the State being named in the 
charter. Certain powers and privileges were granted, among which was 
the power to appoint boards of censors, for the three divisions of the State, 
to grant licenses to applicants to practice medicine within its limits. The 
first meeting of the society was held in Nashville May 3, 1830, and its 
organization completed by adopting a constitution, by-laws and a code of 
medical ethics, and by electing officers for two years. These were James 
Koane, of Nashville, president; James King, of Knoxville, vice-prsident ; 
James M. "Walker, of Nashville, recording secretary; L. P. Yandell, of 
Kutherford County, corresponding secretary, and Boyd McNair, of Nash- 
ville, treasurer. Prof. Charles Caldwell, of Transylvania University, 
being iii town at the time, was elected an honorary member of the society, 
and a committee was appointed to extend him an invitation to visit the 
meeting. The censors appointed for Middle Tennessee were Drs. Doug- 
lass, Stith, Hogg and Estill; for East Tennessee, Drs. McKinney and 
Temple; and for the western division of the State, Drs. Young and Wil- 
son. The code of ethics was the same as that adopted by the Central 
Medical Society of Georgia in 1828. After adopting a resolution con- 
demning the habitual use of ardent spirits and recommending total ab- 
stinence, except when prescribed as a medicine, the society adjourned. 

The second assembling of the society took place in Nashville May 2, 
1861. Sixty members responded at roll-call, and fifty-four were added 
during the session, constituting the largest meeting ever held. Dr. John 
H. Kain, of Shelbyville, the first orator appointed, delivered the anni- 
versary discourse before the society on "Medical Emulation." Dr. 
Yandell having been called to a professorship in the Transylvania Uni- 
versity, resigned his office in the society, and delivered an address which 
was ordered to be published. He was subsequently elected an honorary 
member, and though he became a citizen of another State, no one ever 
served the society more faithfully, or contributed more to advance its in- 
terests. A premium of $50 was offered at this meeting for the best 
essay on "The use and abuse of calomel," which two years later was 
awarded to James Overton, M. D. of Nashville. Dr. James G. M. 

♦Condensed from its history, furnished by Paul F. Eve, M. D., in 1S72. 


Bamsey, of Knoxville, sent liis essay on tlie topography of East Ten- 
nessee, and Dr. Becton read liis own on the topography of Rutherford 
County. This session was one of the most enthusiastic and interesting 
ever held. By invitation of the governor, the society Adsited the peni- 
tentiary, then just erected. The third convocation of this body took 
place in Nashville, where it continued to meet until 1851, when it con- 
vened at Murfreesboro. Many of these sessions were very interesting, 
and several valuable contributions were added to medical literature. The 
limited facilities for travel, however, rendered it impossible for members 
from distant parts of the State to attend without losing a large amount 
of time and experiencing considerable inconvenience; consequently the 
number in attendance was frequently very small. 

At the third session a committee was appointed to ask the Legisla- 
ture to repeal the law making it a penitentiary offense to exhume a 
human body for the purpose of dissection, but this, as was the case with 
several other petitions presented by the society, the Legislature refused 
to grant. 

At the meeting in 1843 the society decided to establish a museum at 
Nashville for the mutual improvement of its members. Subsequently a 
committee was appointed to solicit from the Legislature a donation for 
the museum and a library, but the request was not granted. Upon the 
establishment of the medical department of the University of Nashville 
the museum wias transferred to that institution. 

At the session of the society held in Murfreesboro, in 1851, the code 
of ethics adopted by the American Medical Association in 1847 was 
substituted for the one heretofore governing this body. 

The society met at Murfreesboro again in 1852, but the following 
year convened at Nashville. The complete catalog of the membership 
of the society up to that time was 307. In 1857 twenty-five delegates 
were appointed to the American Medical Association, which assembled in 
Nashville the following year. The thirty-second annual meeting of the 
Tennessee Medical Society was held in the Masonic Hall at Murfreesboro 
April 2, 1861. The attendance was small, only eleven members being 
present at roll-call. Owing to the unsettled condition of the country no 
more meetings were held until April 20, 1866, when seven members as- 
sembled at Nashville. Dr. Robert Martin was elected president, and Dr. 
Nichol re-elected vice-president. But little business was transacted, and 
after the appointment of several committees preparatory to the next meet- 
ing, the society adjourned. From that time until the present, meetings 
have been held annually. In 1871 the society convened at Pulaski; in 
1874 at Chattanooga; and in 1878 at Memphis. In 1872 a committee of 


nine, three for each grand division of the State, was appointed for the 
purpose of forming and encouraging local societies. Two years later 
Drs. J. B. Lindsey, J. J. Abernethy and P. D. Sims were constituted a 
committee to examine the workings of the various State medical societies 
and report, at the next annual meeting, such amendments and by-laws as 
might tend to strengthen the society. This was accordingly done, and at 
the next meeting the constitution as revised by the committee was 
adopted after a full and free discussion. Since 1874 delegates have been 
appointed to each annual meeting of the American Medical Association, 
and in 1876 Drs. Paul F. Eve, Yan S. Lindsley, D. C. Gordon, W, P. 
Jones, J. H. Yan Deman, W. C, Cook, Thomas Menees, F. Bogart, J. B. 
Buist, S. S. Mayfield, H. J. Warmouth and A. Blitz were appointed 
delegates to the International Medical Congress. 

The forty-seventh annual meeting was held at Knoxville, beginning 
April 6, 1880. The local attendance was quite large, and a number of 
delegates from Middle Tennessee were present, but the western division 
of the State was not so largely represented. Among the notable features 
of this meeting was the election of the first female doctor to membership, 
she being regularly delegated from the Knox County Medical Society, of 
which she was an accepted member. The lady was Mary T. Davis. 

In 1881 two meetings were held. At the date of the regular meeting 
on April 5, the society was convened in the supreme court room of the 
capitol, and the committee on arrangements reported that acting under 
the authority of the president, and at the request of a number of physi- 
cians of Knoxville, notices of an adjourned meeting had been sent out. 
Therefore, after having received the governor's signature to the bill, 
which had just passed the Legislature, requiring the registration of the 
births, deaths, and marriages* in the State, the society adjourned to meet 
on May 10, 1881. At that time the continental exposition was in prog- 
ress, and the meeting was well attended. 

The next year the society assembled at Casino Hall, in Memphis, on 
May 9. The attendance was not large, but the session proved an inter- 
esting one. Among its social features was a very pleasant excursion on 
the steamer " Benner," given by Dr. R. W. Mitchell, of the National 
Board of Health. The fiftieth annual meeting was held in Nashville, be- 
ginning April 10, 1883. One of the pleasing incidents of the session 
was an address by Gov. Bate. On April 8, 1884, the society again con- 
vened at Chattanooga just two years after its former meeting in that city. 
The session was in every respect one of the most successful ever held. 
Several amendments to the constitution were adopted, one of which abol- 

*This law was repealed by the next Legislature. 



ished the boards of censors, and established in lieu a judicial council 
composed of the ex-presidents of the society. Fifty dollars was appropri- 
ated to assist in the erection of a monument to the memory of Dr. J. 
Marion Sims. The fifty-second annual meeting was held in the hall of 
Representatives in the State Capitol, April l-t to 16, 1885. Several inter- 
esting papers were read, and considerable business of importance was 

The last meeting of the society was held in Memphis, on the first 
Tuesday in April, 1886. The present officers are Thomas L. Mad- 
din, M. D., of Nashville, president; Drs. S. T. Hardison, J. E. Black 
and G. W. Drake, vice-presidents, for Middle, West and East Tennessee, 
respectively; Dr. C. C. Eite, secretary and Dr. Deering J. Eoberts, 

The subject of preventive medicine has been for several years attract- 
ing more and greater attention, especially from the occurrence of fre- 
quent epidemics throughout the Union. The necessity of some organ- 
ized and co-operative efforts* on the part of persons clothed with au- 
thority to take such steps as may be deemed sufficient to protect the 
country from the rapid spread of epidemics, became so apparent that 
many of the States organized State Boards of Health, and such powers 
were delegated to them as were thought proper to effect the purpose of 
their creation. 

This idea reached material development in this State in 1866, when 
the first board of health in Tennessee was organized at Nashville. Soon 
after a similar organization was formed for the city of Memphis, since 
which time local boards of health have been established in all of the 
larger towns and most of the smaller ones in the State. All are pro- 
ducing good fruit by developing an intelligent public sentiment and a 
growing interest in regard to the value and importance of sanitary 
science as applied not only to communities, but also to individuals, 
households and persons. In April, 1874, a committee was appointed by 
the State Medical Society to prepare and to present to the State Legisla- 
ture at its next session a bill providing for the establishment of a State 
Board of Health. This bill passed the House but was lost in the Sen- 
ate. Two years later another -bill was presented, which, after much ex- 
planation, finally passed with the section of the bill providing for an ap- 
propriation of funds stricken out, thus securing the organization simply 
of the "State Board of Health of the State of Tennessee," without any 
executive power or means with which to carry out any of the more practical 
objectsfor which it was established; consequently they were compelled to 

*From the Eeports of 1880 and 1884. 


content themselves with acting as an advisory body only, notwithstanding 
the western and southern portions of the State as far east as Chattanooga 
were, during the summer of 1878, swept by a most disastrous epidemic 
of yellow fever. They issued advisory circulars through the secular 
press upon the lesser epidemics, such as scarlet fever and diphtheria, 
which appeared in difPerent localities through the State, and otherwise 
gave timely counsel to the people, and created, as opportunity afforded, an 
interest in the subject of public hygiene. Two years subsequently the 
Legislature passed an amendatory act, which was approved by the gov- 
ernor, March, 1879, giving the board additional powers and making a 
small appropriation of money, which enabled them to obtain an office 
and pay their secretary a salary.' 

The first meeting of the board was held April 3, 1877, in the 
office of the Secretary of State, the following members appointed by 
the governor being present: Drs. J. D. Plunket, T. A. Atchison, James 
M. Safford, of Middle Tennessee; E. M. Wight, of East Tennessee, and 
El. B. Maury, of West Tennessee. Dr. J. D. Plunket, to whose exertion 
the board largely owed its existence, was chosen president, and Dr. J. 
Berrien Lindsley was appointed secretary pro fern. Committees were 
appointed on vital statistics, hygiene of schools, prisons, geological and 
topographical features of Tennessee in relation to disease, and epidemic, 
endemic and contagious diseases. 

The first annual meeting of the board was held in Memphis, April, 
1878, concurrently with the meeting of the State Medical Society. Lit- 
tle business of importance was transacted. The office of vice-president 
was created, and Dr. J. M. Safford was elected to that position. Follow- 
ing this meeting came the epidemic of yellow fever of 1878, yet the 
board was powerless to do aught to stay its dreadful ravages. A reign of 
terror existed, and, though badly needed, there was no guide, no head 
of power. The experience of that terrible season taught even the law- 
makers that a State Board of Health with enlarged powers and increased 
facilities was a necessity. Therefore March 26, 1879, an amendatory 
act was passed giving the board power to declare and enforce quaran- 
tine, and to prescribe rules and regulations to prevent the introduction 
of yellow fever and other epidemic diseases. The act also required the 
governor to appoint two additional members of the board connected with 
the commerce and transportation of the country, and appropriated $3,000 
to defray expenses. Hon. John Johnson, ex-mayor of Memphis, and 
Col. E. W. Cole, of Nashville, were chosen as the new members of the 
board. At the second annual meeting Dr. Lindsley resigned his posi- 
tion as secretary, and Dr. W. M. Clark was elected to fill out the unex- 


pired term. lu auticipatiou of the reappearance of the yellow fever in 
1879, the board issued 10,000 copies of an address urging the people of 
the State to organize local boards of health to co-operate with the State 
Board. In consequence of Ihis action many local boards were formed, 
and the State Board was thus enabled to carry on, with but little diffi- 
culty, its plans for staying the progress of the epidemic which followed. 
Since that time no widespread epidemic has visited the State, and the 
work of the board has been directed to the improvement of the sanitary 
condition of the jails, penitentiaries, etc., the education of the people in 
sanitary science, and the collection of valuable vital statistics. The 
board as constituted at the present time is as follows: J. D. Plunket, 
president; James M. Saiford, vice-president; J. B. Lindsley, secretary; 
G. B. Thornton, P. D. Sims, Daniel R Wright, David P. Hadden and 
E. W. Cole. 

As early as 1834 or 1835 the Tennessee Agricultural and Horticul- 
tural Society was organized, and annual fairs were held for a few years. 
The officers elected at the meeting held October 13, 1835, were Dr. Phil- 
lip Lindsley, president; Drs. John Shelby and Felix Eobertson, vice- 
presidents; H. Petway, treasurer, and Joseph T. Dv>^yer, secretary. In 
1840 the society established a paper called the Tennessee State Agricul- 
tm'alist, of which Tolbert Fanning was installed as editor. Drs. Girard 
Troust and John Shelby were liberal contributors to its columns. In 
1842 the Tennessee State Agricultural Society, including members from 
most of the counties of Middle Tennessee, was incorporated with an auth- 
orized capital stock of ^100,000. 

December 18, 1851, several of the leading agriculturalists of the State, 
prominent among whom were Mark R. Cockrill, W. G. Harding, Wil- 
loughby Williams and Tolbert Fanning, secured the re-incorporation of 
the society, with authority to organize two auxiliary societies, one for 
each of the other two divisions of the State. These societies served to 
create an interest in improved methods of agriculture, and during the 
session of 1853—54 the subject was presented to the Legislature. The 
result was the organization of the Tennessee State Agricultural Bureau, 
consisting of the governor, ex-officio president, one member from each 
grand division of the State, five members from Davidson County, and 
one member from each of the county societies organized. It was made 
the duty of the bureau to investigate all such subjects relating to the 
improvement of agriculture as it might think proper, and to encourage 
the establishment of county agricultural societies. For the support of 
the bureau, it was provided that when $1,000 had been raised by contri- 
butions of individuals and placed out at interest, the bureau should be 


entitled to receive from the treasury of the State the sum of $500, 
Each county society was also to receive $50 from the State when $300 
had been contributed by individuals. It was found difficult for the 
county societies to comply with the latter proviso, and in 1856 the act 
was ameuded and a bounty of $200 granted to each society without re- 
quiring any individual contributions. At the same time $30,000 was 
appropriated for the purchase of suitable grounds for the biennial fairs 
to be held at Nashville, and State bonds to that amount were issued. A 
tract of land containing thirty-nine acres, lying on Brown's Creek, was 
purchased from John Trimble for the sum of $17,750. The work of 
fitting up the grounds was immediately begun, and by October they were 
sufficiently improved to admit of holding the annual fair upon them. 
The fair of that year, however, was not so successful as previous ones,, 
owing to unfavorable weather, and to the excitement incident to the 
presidential campaign than in progress. The improvements of the 
grounds was completed during the following year, and from the secre- 
tary's report it appears that the entire cost of the grounds and improve- 
ments exceeded $30,000. 

The sixth and last annual fair was begun on October 10; 1859, and 
continued six days. This was one of the most successful fairs held. 
The number of people in attendance on the second day was estimated at 
10,000, to which assemblage an elaborate and instructive address was de- 
livered by Lieut. M. F. Maury. 

In the reports made by the officers of the society much regret is ex- 
pressed at the lack of interest in making creditable exhibits of stock and 
other farm products. But the greatest good derived from these annual 
fairs came from the addresses delivered by scientific men like Lieut. 
Maury. They served to give the farmer a broader idea of his profession 
and to awaken him to the fact that there is a science of agriculture. 

During the war, as a matter of course, the agricultural societies were 
suspended, and but little effort has since been made to revive them. In 
1870 the old fair grounds of the State Agricultural Society were sold by 
a committee appointed by the Legislature, consisting of the secretary of 
state, comptroller and treasurer. 

In December, 1871, an act was passed authorizing the governor to 
appoint two citizens from each grand division of the State, as commis- 
sioners of agriculture, to constitute a bureau of agriculture. They were 
required to meet once each year, and were allowed to appoint a secretary, 
at a salary of $600 per year. The Legislature of 1875 abolished this 
department, and in its stead established the Bureau of Agriculture, Sta- 
tistics and Mines, to be under the control of a commissioner appointed 


by the governor. It is made the duty of the commissioner to collect 
specimens of all the agricultural and mineral products of the State; to 
analyze and inspect fertilizers sold in the State; to study the insects in- 
jurious to crops; to study the diseases of grain, fruit and other crops, 
and to collect statistics bearing upon these subjects. He is also allowed 
to employ a chemist and geologist to assist him in his researches. At 
the .same time a bureau of immigration was established for the purpose 
of encouraging immigration to the State. Two years later the duties 
of this office were imposed upon the Bureau of Agriculture, Statistics 
and Mines, which had been placed under the control of J. B. Killebrew, 
as commissioner, a man of great ability, and untiring energy. He did 
much to make known the immense natural resources of the State; he 
wrote and published works on "Wheat Culture," " Tennessee Grasses and 
Cereals," "The Mineral Wealth of the State," "Sheep Husbandry,"' and 
an extensive work entitled "The Resources of Tennessee," all admirably 
well written. For the past three years the bureau has been under the 
efficient management of A. J. McWhirter. 

The first charter issued to a Masonic Lodge in Tennessee was grant- 
ed in accordance with a petition received by the Grand Lodge of North 
Carolina, December 17, 1796. The lodge was organized in Nashville, 
and was known as St. Tammany, No. 1. The Grand Lodge of North 
Carolina continued its authority over Tennessee until 1812. During the 
same period a charter was issued to one lodge in this State by the Grand 
Lodge of Kentucky, and a dispute arose between these two grand lodges 
in regard to their jurisdiction. In 1805 the Grand Secretary of the 
Grand Lodge of North Carolina was directed to write to the Grand 
Lodge of Kentucky, and request them to call in all dispensations or 
charters granted to lodges in Tennessee. The request was not complied 
with, and two years later it was renewed with the warning that, if it 
were not heeded, all communication between them would cease. The 
difficulty, however, was not settled until a separate Grand Lodge for 
Tennessee was. established. 

On December 11, 1811, a convention, consisting of representatives 
from all the lodges in Tennessee, met at Knoxville. Resolutions favor- 
ing the formation of a separate grand lodge were passed, and an address 
to the Grand Lodge of North Carolina prepared. This address was re- 
ceived by the Grand Lodge at its next meeting in December, 1812, and ' 
the petition for a separate grand lodge granted. Accordingly Grand 
Master Robert Williams called a convention to meet in Knoxville, on 
December 27, 1813, at which time a charter, or deed of relinquishment, 
from the Grand Lodge of North Carolinia was presented. This charter 


is still on file iu the archives of the Grand Lodge, and is said to be the 
only charter of the kind in the United States. 

The officers installed the first meeting were Thomas Claiborne, 
Grand Master; George Wilson, Deputy Grand Master; John Hall, Se- 
nior Grand Warden ; Abraham K. Shaifer, Junior Grand Warden ; Thom- 
as McCarry, Grand Treasurer and Senior Grand Deacon; Edward Scott, 
Grand Secretary and Junior Grand Deacon. At the meeting held in 
July following a controversy arose as to whether the subordinate lodges 
could work under their old charters. It was finally decided to allow them 
to do so until new charters could be granted 

The constitution as originally adopted provided that the meetings of 
the Grand Lodge should be held at the place where the Legislature con- 
vened. In 1815 this was amended, and Nashville was permanently fixed 
as the place of meeting. Quarterly meetings of the Grand Lodge were 
held until October, 1819, when they were abolished. At a called meet- 
ing on May 4, 1825, Gen. La Fayette, who was then visiting Nashville, 
was elected an honorary member of the Grand Lodge, and during the 
day was introduced to the lodge by Gen. Jackson. The Grand Master 
delivered an address of welcome, to which Gen. La Fayette replied. An 
eleo-ant oration was then delivered by William G. Hunt, J. G. W., after 
which a banquet terminated the exercises. 

At the annual meeting held in October, 1825, Gen. Samuel Houston 
presented a memorial concerning a difficulty which had arisen between 
him and another member of Cumberland Lodge, No. 8. Upon hearing 
the case the committee completely exonerated Gen, Houston from all 
charo-es of unmasonic conduct, but two years later he was suspended by 
his lodo-e. He appealed to the Grand Lodge, but the decision of the 
subordinate lodge was not reversed. The chief grounds of his suspen- 
sion was his having fought a duel with another Mason, Gen. White. 
The constitution and by-laws of the Grand Lodge were amended in 
1822, and ao-ain in 1830. In 1845 a new constitution was adopted. 

October 6, 1858, the corner-stone of the Masonic Temple at Nashville 
was laid with the usual ceremonies. Since that time but little of general 
interest has transpired in the proceedings of the Grand Lodge. During 
the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, the order was active in relieving the 
suffering, and over |24,000 was contributed for that purpose. In 1885 
the Grand Lodge had jurisdiction over 409 subordinate lodges with a 
membership of 15,268. The following is a complete list of the Past 
Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge : 

Thomas Claiborne, 1813; Eobert Searcy, 1815; Wilkins Tannehill, 
1817; O. B. Hays, 1819; Wilkins Tannehill, 1820; Andrew Jackson, 


1822; WilkinsTaiinehilL 1824; Matthew D. Cooper, 1825; William E. 
Kennedy, 1827; Hugh W. Duulap, 1829; Archibald Yell, 1831; Dudley 
S. Jennings, 1832; Harry L. Douglass, 1833; Benjamin S. Tappan, 
1831; J. C. N. Eobertson, 1836; Philander Priestly, 1837; Samuel Mc- 
Manus, 1838; George Wilson, 1810; Wilkins Tannehill, 1811; John 
Novell, 1813; Edmund Dillahunty, 1841; William L. Martin, 184G; 
Hardy M. Burton, 1848 ; Kobert L. Caruthers, 1849 ; Charles A. Fuller, 
1850; A. M. Hughes, 1852; John S. Dashiell, 1854; Thomas McCulloch, 
1856; John Frizzell, 1858; James McCallum, I860*; A. M. Hughes, 
1863; Thomas Hamilton, 1864; Joseph M. Anderson, 1866; Jonathan S. 
Dawson, 1868; John W. Paxton, 1869; John C. Brown, 1870; W. M. 
Dunaway, 1871; D. E. Grafton, 1872; James D. Richardson, 1873; 
Andrew J. Wheeler, 1874; J. C. Cawood, 1875; E. Edmundson, 1876; 

A. V. AVarr, 1877 ; George C. Connor, 1878 ; Wilbur F. Fowler, 1879 ; 
Q. T. Irion, 1880; N. S. Woodward, 1882; N. W. McConnell, 1883; 

B. E. Harris, 1884; H. M. Aiken, 1885; Thomas O. Morris, 1886. The 
following is a list of the present grand officers: 

Thomas O. Morris, Nashville,' M. W. Grand Master; Caswell A. Good- 
loe. Alamo, E. W. Deputy Grand Master ; H. H. Ingersoll, Knoxville, E. 
W. Senior Grand Warden; John T. Williamson, Columbia, E. W. Junior 
Grand Warden ; William H. Morrow, Nashville, E. W. Grand Treasurer ; 
John Frizzell, Nashville, E. W. Grand Secretarj^; Eev. C. H. Strickland, 
Nashville, E. W. Grand Chaplain; H. W. Naff, Bristol, Wor. Senior 
Grand Deacon; H. P. Doyle, Dyersburg, Wor. Junior Grand Deacon; 
P. H. Craig, Waynesboro, AVor. Grand Marshal; N. A. Senter, Hum- 
boldt, Wor. Grand Sword Bearer; A. C. Eobeson, Athens, Wor. Grand 
Steward; M. P. Prince, Minor Hill, Wor. Grand Pursuivant; Ewin 
Burney, Nashville, Wor. Grand Tyler. The Grand Council of Tennes- 
see Eoyal and Select Master Masons was organized October 13, 1847, 
with the following officers: 

Dyer Pearl, T. I. Grand Master; William E. Hodge, G. Prin. C. of 
Work ; Joseph F. Gibson, Grand Treasurer ; Charles A. Fuller, Grand 
Eecorder. Since that time the following have filled the chair of Grand 
Master: John S. Dashiell, 1849; Henry F. Beaumont, 1850; John P. 
Campbell, 1851-52; James Penn, 1853; Jonathan Huntington, 1854; 
L. Hawkins, 1855; Edward W. Kinney, 1856; Eobert Chester, 1857; 
H. M. Lusher, 1858; Jonathan Huntington, 1859; John H. Devereux, 
1860; John Frizzell, 1861; William Maxwell, 1865; John McClelland, 
1866; William H. McLeskey, 1867; David Cook, 1868; W. F. Foster, 
1869; A. V. Ware, 1870; James McCallum, 1871; A. P. Hall, 1872; E. 

*No meetings held in 18(U and 1862. 


Edmundsou, 1873; W. R. Shaver, 1874; H. M. Aiken, 1875; B. R 
Haller, 1876; Bradford Nicliol, 1877; B. R. Harris, 1878; George H. 
Morgan, 1879; Ewin Burney, 1880-82; William Matthews, 1883; P. C. 
Wright, 1884 

The Grand Chapter was organized April 3, 1826, with the following 
officers: William G. Hunt, Grand High Priest; Wilkins Tannehill, 
Deputy Grand High Priest; Ed H. Steele, Grand King; Dyer Pearl, 
Grand Scribe; Moses Stevens, Grand Treasurer; and Charles Cooper, 
Grand Secretary. 

The following have been the Grand High Priests: William G. Hunt,* 
1826; William G. Hunt,* 1827; Moses Stevens,* 1828; Wilkins Tan- 
nehill,* 1829; William G.Dickinson,* 1830; Hezekiah Ward,* 1831 
Hezekiah Ward,* 1832; Jacob F. Foute,* 1833; Moses Stevens,* 1834 
T. S. Alderson,* 1835; Dyer Pearl,* 1836; Benjamin S. Tappan,* 1837 
Benjamin S. Tappan, 1838; Moses Stevens,* 1839; Edmund Dillahunty,* 
1840; Edmund Dillahunty,* 1841; Henry F. Beaumont,* 1842; James 
H. Thomas,* 1843; Dyer Pearl,* 1844; Dyer Pearl,* 1845; Dyer Pearl,* 
1846; P. G. Stiver Perkins,* 1847; P. G. Stiver Perkins,* 1848; Charles 
A. Fuller,* 1849; A. M. Hughes, 1850; A. M. Hughes, 1851; J. M. Gil- 
bert, 1852; Edward W. Kenney,* 1853; Edward Kenney,* 1854; Solomon 
W. Cochran, 1855; Solomon W. Cochran, 1856; Robert I. Chester, 1857; 
Robert S. Moore,* 1858; Roberts. Moore,* 1859; W. H. Whiton, 1860; 
Jonathan Huntington,* 1861 ; John Frizzell, 1865; Jonathan S. Dawson, 
1866; Townsend A. Thomas, 1867; William Maxwell, 1868; John W. 
Hughes, 1869; William H. Armstrong, 1870; A. J. Wheeler,* 1871; 
John W. Paxton,* 1872; Joseph M. Anderson, 1873; Wilbur F. Foster, 
1874; Algernon S. Currey, 1875; H. M. Aiken, 1876; John S. Pride, 
1877; Benjamin F. Haller, 1878; Joe H. Bullock, 1879; Gideon R. 
Gwynne, 1880; W. E. Eastman, 1882; James D. Richardson, 1883; 
David J. Pierce, 1884; William S. Matthews, 1885; Bradford Nichol, 

The following is a list of the present grand officers : Bradford Nichol, 
Nashville, Grand High Priest; John E. Pyott, Spring City, Deputy 
Grand High Priest; Lewis R. Eastman, Nashville, Grand King; N. F. 
Harrison, Germantown, Grand Scribe; N. S. AVoodward, Knoxville, 
Grand Treasurer; John Frizzell, Nashville, Grand Secretary; Rev. H. 
A. Jones, Memphis, Grand Chaplain; Charles Buford, Pulaski, Grand 
Captain of the Host; J. W. N. Burkett, Jackson, Grand Principal 
Sojourner; John B, Garrett, Nashville, Grand Royal Arch Captain; 
James R. Crowe, Pulaski, Grand Master Third Yeil; J. T. Williamson, 



Columbia, Grand Master Second Veil; John H. Ferguson, Dayton, 
Grand Master First Veil; Ewin Burney, Nashville, Grand Sentinel. 

The Grand Council of the order of High Priesthood for Tennessee 
was organized October 9, 1860, by Thomas Ware, of Kentucky, Grand 
President j^^'o iom. The officers installed were Robert S. Moore, Grand 
President; John M. Morrill, Vice Grand President; Jonathan Hunting- 
ton, Grand Chaplain; John Frizzell, Grand Treasurer, and John McClel- 
land, Grand Becorder. 

The following is a lisi of the Grand Presidents from the organization : 
Robert S. Moore, 1860; John McClelland, 1861; John S. Dashiell, 1864; 
John Frizzell, 1866; John Bell, 1867; John W. Paxton, 1868; J. M. 
Gilbert, 1869; John McClelland, 1870; Wilbur F. Foster, 1871; Wilbur 
F. Foster, 1872; A. J. Wheeler, 1873; Morton B. Howell, 1874; John 
B. Morrisj 1875; George S. Blackie, 1876; E. Edmundson, 1877; Gideon 
R. Gwynne, 1878; Benjamin F. Haller, 1879; George S. Blackie, 1880; 
Henry M. Aiken, 1882; Bradford Nichol, 1883; Bradford Nichol, 1884; 
Bradford Nichol, 1885; D. J. Pierce, 1886. 

October 12, 1859, the four commanderies of Knights Templar and 
appendant orders in Tennessee, working under charters from the Grand 
Encampment of the United States, assembled in Nashville for the pur- 
pose'of organizing a Grand Commandery for Tennessee. Twenty-six Sir 
Knights were present. The officers chosen and installed were Charles 
A. Fuller, Grand Commander; A. M. Hughes, Deputy Grand Com- 
mander; Lucius J. Polk, Grand Generalissimo; M. Whitten, Grand 
Captain General ; W. H. Horn, Grand Treasurer ; W. H. Whiton, Grand 
Recorder, Jonathan Huntington, Grand Prelate; J. J. Worsham, Grand 
Senior Warden; A. S. Currey, Grand Junior Warden; Thomas McCuUoch, 
Grand Standard Bearer; J. H. Devereux, Grand Sword Bearer; Henry 
Sheffield, Grand Warden; M. E. De Grove, Grand Sentinel. Annual 
meetings have since been held with the exception of three years during 
the war. The number of subordinate commanderies in 1885 was 14, 
with a membership of 813. 

The following is a list of the Past Grand Commanders: Charles A. 
Fuller, Lucius J. Polk, J. J. Worsham, A. S. Underwood, John McClel- 
land, John Frizzell, Dr. J. M. Towler, A. D. Sears, George S. Blackie, 
J. B. Palmer, George Mellersh, M. B. Howell, H. M. Aiken, AV. R. But- 
ler, E. R. T. Worsham, W. F. Foster, George C. Connor, Joseph H. 
Fussell, B. F. Haller, W. D. Robison, W. P. Robertson, G. R. Gwynne, 
J. B. Nicklin. 

The Grand Commandery in 1886 assembled at Tullahoma and elected 
the following officers: Henry C. Howsley, Grand Commander; Charles 


Mosby, Deputy Grand Commander ; G. B, Wilson, Grand GeneralissiuK » : 
W. C. Smith, Grand Captain General; Eev. J. J. Manker, Grand Pre- 
late; Joseph H. Bullock, Grand Treasurer; W. F, Foster, Grand 
Recorder; N. S. Woodward, Grand Senior Warden; Dr. Robert Pillow, 
Grand Junior Warden; T. O. Morris, Grand Standard Bearer; H. C. 
Cullen, Grand Sword Bearer; D, J. Chandler, Grand Warden, and Ewin 
Burney, Grand Captain of the Guard. 

The first lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was in- 
stituted in Nashville on the evening of June 1, 1839, and was 'known 
as Tennessee Lodge No. 1. This lodge is still in existence. The 
next year, 1840, a second lodge was organized at Nashville. The Grand 
Lodge of Tennessee was instituted under authority of a charter issued 
by the Grand Lodge of the United States August 10, 1841, by C. C. 
Trabue, Special Deputy Grand Sire. The first grand officers elected and 
installed were Timothy Kezer, Grand Master; R. A. Barnes, Deputy 
Grand Master; W, H. Calhoun, Grand Warden; William P. Hume, 
Grand Secretary; George R. Forsyth, Grand Treasurer. At the next 
meeting, August 24, the constitution and by-laws of the Grand Lodge of 
Ohio was adopted. New charters were granted to the two lodges al- 
ready organized, and in October a charter was also granted to Columbia 
Lodge No. 3, the first instituted under authority of the Grand Lodge of 
Tennessee. On January 2, 1843, Grand Lodge Hall, over the postoffice. 
at the corner of Union and Cherry Streets, was dedicated with appropri- 
ate ceremonies. Soon after a committee was appointed to purchase the 
old Nashville theater, which was done at a cost of nearly $10,000. In 
order to raise the necessary money to pay for the building and fit it up, 
an association was formed and incorporated by an act of the Legislature, 
under the name of the Odd Fellows Hall Association, with an authorized 
capital stock of $20,000, divided into shares of $25 each. Stock was 
taken by individuals and also by subordinate lodges. In January, 1850, 
the committee appointed to fit up the hall reported the work finished, 
and the entire cost of the building to be about $30,000. This amount 
proved to be greater than the lodge could raise, and the following year 
the property was sold under a decree of the chancery court for $9,500. 
This sale was set aside by the supreme court, and in March, 1853, the 
hall was sold to E. H. Childress and P. AV. Maxey for $12,350. The 
lodge still owed $3,000, and they were obliged to sell other property to sat- 
isfy this debt. This, however, did not put an end to the financial difficul- 
ties, and in 1857 the indebtedness of the lodge amounted to over $7,000. 
During the war many subordinate lodges were suspended, the Grand 
Lodge was cut off from communication with the Grand Lodge of the 


United States, and the order throughout the State was badly disorganized. 
But within a few years after the cessation of hostilities prosperity re- 
turned, old lodges were revived and a large number of new ones insti- 
tuted. In 1885 the number of subordinate lodges was 122, with a mem- 
bership of 3,302. During the year benefits to the amount of |12,599.78 
were paid, and the total revenue from all sources was ^26,31:5.11. Since 
1853 the Grand Lodge has owned no hall, but has held its meetings in 
the halls of subordinate lodges at various places, Nashville, Knoxville, 
Memphis and Chattanooga. The following is a list of the Grand Masters, 
with the year in which they were elected: Timothy Kezer, 1841; J. G. 
Harris, 1842; W. F. Tannehill, 1843; James E. Shelton, 1844; William 
H. Calhoun, 1845; W. S. McNairy, 184(3; G. P. Smith, 1847; W. K. 
Poston, 1848; W. S. Howard, 1849; W. M. Blackmore, 1850; Robert 
Stark, 1851; George W. Day, 1852; Constantine Perkins, 1853; E. A. 
Raworth, 1854; George Robertson, 1855; E. D. Farnsworth, 1856; A. 
A.Barnes, 1857; Robert Hatton, 1858; Benjamin Johnson, 1859; M. D. 
Cardwell, 1860; J. D. Danbury, 1861; H. C. Hensley, 1862; E. D. 
Farnsworth, 1863; William Wood, 1864; M. C. Cotton, 1865; O. F. 
Prescott, 1866; William H. McConnell, 1867; Hervey Brown, 1868; M. 
R. Elliott, 1869; J. R. Prescott, 1870; James Rodgers, 1871; J. L. 
Weakley, 1872; A. M. Burney, 1873; H. T. Johnson, 1874; H. P. 
Sehorn, 1875; George B. Boyles, 1876; S. D. J. Lewis, 1877; Charles 
M. Carroll, 1878; E. G. Budd, 1879; R. D. Frayser, 1880; E. B. Mann, 
1881; James H. Crichlow, 1882; C. F. Landis, 1883; James G. Ayde- 
lotte, 1884; Halbert B. Case, 1885. 

The Grand Encampment of Tennessee was organized at Nashville 
July 21, 1847, by T. P. ShafPner, of Louisville, Ky. The first ofiicers 
elected and installed were George W. Wilson, Grand Patriarch ; Donald 
Cameron, Grand High Priest ; N. E. Perkins, Grand Senior Warden ; C. 
K. Clark, Grand Junior Warden ; G. P. Smith, Grand Scribe ; John Col- 
tart, Grand Treasurer; C. G. Weller, Grand Inside Sentinel; Charles 
Smith, Grand Outside Sentinel. The constitution and by-laws of the 
Grand Encampment of Maine was adopted. At this time there were 
five subordinate encampments in the State, the first of which was 
Ridgely Encampment, No. 1, organized at Nashville. In 1849 the num- 
ber of encampments had increased to ten, with a membership of eighty- 
three; in 1873 the encampments numbered twenty -nine, and the mem- 
bers 867. The present membership is about 300, divided among fifteen 

The order of the Knights of Honor was introduced by the organiza- 
tion of Tennessee Lodge, No. 20, at Nashville, on May 6, 1874, witk 


a membersliip of fifteen. The Grand Lodge of Tennessee was organized 
in Nashville by Supreme Director Dr. A. E. Keys, of Mansfield, Ohio, 
July 3, 1875, at which time D. B. Gaily was elected Grand Dictator, 
and W. H. Trafford Grand Reporter. The constitution and by-laws of 
the Supreme Lodge was adopted for the government of the Grand 
Lodo-e until a permanent constitution could be prepared, which was done 
at an adjourned meeting held in October, 1875. Since the organization 
of the first lodge in the State, the growth of the order has been steady. 
By January 1, 1878, the membership had reached 3,814; in 1880 it was 
5,527, and in 1885, 6,858. The financial condition of the order has been 
equally prosperous. 

During the yellow fever epidemic of 1878 much was done by tlie 
order to alleviate suffering. Dr. D. F. Goodyear, Grand Treasurer, of 
Memphis, with other members of the relief committee, remained in that 
city and distributed contributions, which were received from all parts of 
the State and of the United States, to the amount of nearly $15,000. 
The number of deaths for that year was 167, of which 131 were caused 
by yellow fever. The amount of benefit for the year reached $334,000. 

The following is a list of the Grand Dictators : D. B. Gaily, of Nash- 
ville; L. A. Gratz, of Knoxville; John W. Childress, of Murfreesboro ; 
E. Smithson, of Pulaski; J. Bunting, of Bristol; J. P. Young, of Mem- 
phis; W. E. Baskette, of Murfreesboro; Creed E. Bates, of Cleveland; 
Warner Moore, of Memphis;?. E.. Albert, of Chattanooga, and others. 
The Grand Reporters have been W. H. Trafford, 1875-76; L. A. Gratz, 
1877 ; Ben K. PuUen, 1878-83, and W. M. Johnson, 1884. Meetings of 
the Grand Lodge are held at Nashville in April of each year. 

The Grand Lodge, Knights and Ladies of Honor of Tennessee, was 
organized in the hall of Harmony Lodge, at Nashville, April 7, 1879, 
under a dispensation from the Supreme Protector, by D. B. Gaily. The 
orcranization was effected by the election and installation of the follow- 
ing officers: Ben K. Pullen, Past Grand Protector; D. B. Gaily, Grand 
Protector; Mrs. Josephine Mackenzie, Grand Yice-Profcector; George F. 
Fuller, Grand Secretary; George F. Hager, Grand Treasurer; A. A. 
Allison, Grand Chaplain; Mrs. Ada McCullough, Grand Guide; Miss 
Jessie M. Dorris, Grand Guardian ; Mrs. D. J. Sanders, Grand Sentinel, 
and W. E. Ladd, W. H. Taylor and J. A. Kellogg, Trustees. The con- 
stitution of the Grand Lodge of Missouri was adopted, and Nashville 
was fixed as the permanent place of meeting. The first annual meeting 
was held April 12 and 13, at which time the Grand Protector reported that 
twelve new lodges had been established, making a total of thirty-eight 
lodges in the State, with a membership of about 1,200, At this session 







Ben K. PuUen was elected Grand Protector, but refused to serve, and 
F. Smith son was chosen in his place. The latter failed to perform the 
duties devolving upon the office, and a called meeting was held Septem- 
ber 30, 1880, to elect a Grand Protector to fill out the unexpired term. 
A. A. Allison, of Fidelia Lodge, No. 155, of Gallatin, was chosen to the 
office. A second special session of the Grand Lodge was held in Knights 
of Pythias Hall in Nashville, December 12 and 18, 1881. 

After the reports of several committees, and that of the Grand Pro- 
tector had been received, an animated discussion arose as to the pow- 
ers of the Grand Lodge at this special session. The Grand Protect- 
or finally decided that any business offered could be transacted, and new 
officers were elected. D. B. Gaily was chosen Grand Protector, and 
Mrs. E. E. De Pass, Grand Vice-Protector. The Secretary reported a 
total membership of about 1,500, distributed among forty-two working 
lodges. The first biennial ^ession of the Grand Lodge was held April 
2, 1883. But little except routine business was transacted. The Secre- 
tary reported forty-one lodges in working order, with an aggregate mem- 
bership of 1,650. The Protector reported that up to that time there 
had been paid to the families of deceased members in Tennessee benefits 
to the amount of over $80,000. At this meeting B. J. F. Owen was 
elected Grand Protector, and Mrs. J. E. Jordan, Grand Yice-Protector. 
April 13, 1885, the Grand Lodge convened in second biennial session 
at Nashville, and was opened in due form. The Grand Protector re- 
jjorted forty-five lodges in the State, with about 1,800 beneficiary mem- 
bers. He also reported that the State had drawn benefits to the amount 
of $116,873.65, and paid in assessments $73,908.15. After business of a 
miscellaneous character was transacted the following officers were elected : 
George E. Hawkins, Grand Protector; Mrs. Dosie Brooks, Grand Vice- 
Protector; George Fuller, Grand Secretary; E. A. Campbell, Grand 
Treasurer; Mrs. Olive Peacock, Grand Chaplain; Mrs. Josephine Mac- 
kenzie, Grand Guide ; I. C. Garner, Grand Guardian, and J. T. Macken- 
zie, Grand Sentinel. W. L. Grigsby was elected representative to the 
Supreme Lodge, with W. R. Kendall as alternate. The lodge holds its 
next biennial session in April, 1887. 

On May 9, 1876, fourteen ladies and gentlemen met in the city of 
Knoxville and resolved, after a preliminary discussion, to apply for a 
charter under the laws of Tennessee, that they might organize an order 
to be known and styled the United Order of the Golden Cross, together 
with provisions for the pecuniary relief of sick or distressed members, 
and the establishment of a benefit fund from which should be paid to the 
friends of deceased members a sum not to exceed $2,000. The charter 



was granted, and on July 4, 1876, the Supreme Commandery was organ- 
ized. The first Subordinate Commandery organized was Peace No. 1, at 
Knoxville, on July 11. The order increased quite rapidly, and on May 
10, 1877, a called meeting of the Supreme Commandery of the World was 
held at Knoxville for the purpose of organizing a Grand Commandery for 
the State of Tennessee. The members present were J. H. Morgan, Su- 
preme Commander; Addie Wood, Supreme Vice-Commander; Isaac 
Emory, Supreme Prelate; D. H. Weaver, Supreme Keeper of Records; 
William Wood, Supreme Treasurer; R. A. Brown, Supreme Herald; C. 
J. Gochwend, Supreme Warden of the Inner Gate; E. W. Adkins, Su- 
preme Warden of the Outside Gate ; Harvey Clark, Supreme Post Com- 
mander; W. R. Cooper, Mary Adkins, Maggie P. Morgan, M. E. Weav- 
ers and A. M. Emory. An election of grand officers was held, which re- 
sulted as follows: E. E. Young, P. G. C. ; A. J. Baird, G. C. ; A. M. 
Emory, G. V. C. ; S. H. Day, G. P. ; George W. Henderson, G. K. of R. ; 
E. W. Adkins, G. T.4 J. A. Ruble, G. H. ; Addie Wood, G. W. I. G. ; W. 
J. Fagan, G. W. O. G. J. C. Flanders was elected Representative to the 
Supreme Commandery for one year, and George B. Staddan for two years. 
The whole number of third degree members reported at this time was 
317. Both the first and second annual sessions of the Supreme Com- 
mandery were held in Knoxville, but ihe growth of the order was rapid in 
the other States, and the third session, was held at Washington, D. C. 
The Grand Commandery held its first annual meeting in Cleveland, Tenn., 
on April 16, 1878, at which time A. J. Baird was chosen Grand Com- 
mander, and Addie Wood, Grand Yice-Commander. Seven new lodges 
were organized during the preceding year, which increased the member- 
ship to 598. The second annual session and all succeeding ones have 
been held at Nashville. At the meeting in 1880 it was decided to hold 
biennial instead of annual sessions, and accordingly the next convention 
of the Grand Lodge occurred on April 18, 1882. Two sessions have 
since been held. The Grand Commanders elected since 1878 have been 
S. H. Day, 1879; J. H. W. Jones, 1880; R. G. Rothrock, 1882; C. S. 
McKenna, 1884 and R. A. Campbell, 1886. The other officers at pres- 
ent are E. J. Roach, G. V. C. ; W. W. Ownby, G. P. ; George B. Stad- 
dan, G. K. of R. ; E. W. Adkins, G. T. ; Belle McMurray, G. H. ; J. L. 
Webb, G. W. I. G. ; D. S. Wright, G. W. O. G. The membership in 
1880 was 766; in 1882, 1,036; and on January 1, 1884, 1,114 The 
influence of this order is always for good, and no person not pledged to 
total abstinence from all intoxicating liquors is admitted to membership. 
The order of the Knights of Pythias was introduced by the estab- 
lishment of Holston Lodge, No. 1, at Knoxville, Tenn., in March, 1872. 


Soon after lodges were established at Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis, 
and other points throughout the State. The Grand Lodge was organized 
at Nashville, April 2, 1872, by Supreme Chancellor, Samuel Read, of 
New Jersey. There were present representatives from six lodges : Hol- 
ston Lodge, No. 1, of Kuoxville; Damon Lodge, No. 2, of Chattanooga; 
Myrtle Lodge, No. 3, of Nashville ; Bayard Lodge, No. 4, of Murfreesboro ; 
Tennessee Lodge, No. 5, and Memphis Lodge, No. C, both of Memphis. 
The first Grand Chancellor was Calvin McCorkle, of Knoxville. The rep- 
resentatives to the Supreme Lodge elected at the same time are "W. Brice 
Thompson, of Nashville, and W. R. Butler, of Murfreesboro. Since the 
organization of the Grand Lodge the chancellors have been T. S. Jukes, 
of Memphis ; Alexander Allison, of Knoxville ; W. P. Robertson, of Jack- 
son ; J. J. Atkins, of Knoxville ; B. H. Owen, of Clarksville ; H. S. Reyn- 
olds, of Memphis: R. L. C. White, of Lebanon; E. S. Mallory, of Jack- 
son; R. J. Wheeler, of Nashville; W. C. Caldwell, of Trenton; W. R. 
Carlile, of Chattanooga; George S. Seay, of Gallatin; L. D. McCord, of 
Pulaski, and M. M. Niel, of Trenton, the present incumbent. 

H. S. Reynolds, was chairman of K. of P. Relief Committee at Mem- 
phis during the yellow fever epidemic of 1878, and remained in the city, 
discharging his duties, until he fell ill and died of the disease. In recog- 
nition of his noble work and sacrifice of his life the Supreme Lodge of 
the World, by special dispensation, placed his name on the roll of Past 
Grand Chancellors in the following words: "The name of Brother Reyn- 
olds is placed upon the list of Past Grand Chancellors, though he died 
during his term as Grand Chancellor; but he died nobly at his post of 
duty, and immortalized his name in the annals of Pythian Knighthood.'' 

There are at present twenty-six lodges in the State, with an aggre- 
gate membership of 2,012. Financially the order is in excellent con- 
dition, there being on hand in the treasuries of subordinate lodges on 
December 31, 1885, the amount of $5,513.04: cash, while the value of 
lodge furniture and real estate is estimated at $21,597. The Grand offi- 
cers, elected at Clarksville, in May 1886, are as follows: Sitting Past 
Grand Chancellor, George E. Seay, of Gallatin; Grand Chancellor, M. 
M. Neil, of Trenton; Grand Vice-Chancellor, Henry W. Morgan, of 
Nashville; Grand Prelate, G. B. Wilson, of Clarksville; Grand Keeper 
and Recorder of Seals, R. L. C. White, of Lebanon ; Grand Master of Ex- 
chequer, W. A. Wade, of Milan ; Grand Master of Arms, T. C. Latimore, 
of Chattanooga; Grand Inner Guard, E. L. Bullock, of Jackson; Grand 
Outer Guard, W. G. Sadler, of Nashville; and representatives to the 
Supreme Lodge, George E. Seay, of Gallatin, and R. L. C. White, of 



The Grand Council of the American Legion of Honor was organized 
at Nashville, August 3, 1882, by Deputy Supreme Commander Michael 
Brooks. Past Commanders from ten councils throughout the State 
were present, and the following Grand officers were elected: George F. 
Hager, Past Grand Commander, Nashville ; S. H. Day, Grand Command- 
er, Cleveland ; George F. Fuller, Grand Vice-Commander, Nashville ; W. 
Z. Mitchell, Grand Orator, Memphis; Frank Winship, Grand Secretary, 
Pulaski ; Frank A. Moses, Grand Treasurer, Knoxville ; J. Eadomsky, 
Grand Guide, Nashville ; E. G. Buf ord, Grand Sentry, Pulaski ; W. Z. 
Mitchell, George F. Hager and Julius Ochs, Grand Trustees. George F. 
Hager was also chosen representative to the Supreme Council. 

The growth of this order in Tennessee as in other States, has been 
rapid, and owing to its careful and economical management it is in a 
splendid condition financially. There are now in the State sixteen sub- 
ordinate councils with a membership of about 900. The Grand Council 
now holds biennial sessions. The following are the present officers: 
George F. Hager, Grand Commander, Nashville; Joseph Wassaman, 
Grand Yice-Commander, Chattanooga; W. Z. Mitchell, Grand Orator, 
Memphis; Alexander Allison, Past Grand Commander, Knoxville; F. C. 
Kichmond, Grand Secretary, Knoxville; F. A. Moses, Grand Treasurer, 
Knoxville; John T, Rogers, Grand Guide, Cleveland; Samuel Strauss, 
Grand Chaplain, Chattanooga; Henry Benzing, Grand Warden, Nash- 
ville ; L. Williams, Grand Sentry, Cleveland. W. Z. Mitchell, Memphis ; 
John B. Everitt, Nashville; Henry Benzing, Nashville, Grand Trustees. 

The Ancient Order of United Workmen originated in Meadville, 
Penn., in October, 1868. The first lodge organized in Tennessee was Ten- 
nessee Lodge, No. 2, instituted at Nashville, November 26, 1876. When 
this lodge was organized it was supposed that Lodge No. 1 had been 
formed at Memphis, but this was found to be a mistake, and consequent- 
ly there has been no lodge of that number in the State. On February 
22, 1877, representatives from six subordinate lodges met in Nashville, 
and organized a Grand Lodge with the following officers: Dr. G. Schiff, 
Past Grand Master Workman ; John W. Childress, Grand Master W^ork- 
raan; John M. Brooks, Grand Foreman; D. W. Hughes, Grand Overseer; 
Thomas H. Everett, Grand Recorder; J. M. Barnes, Grand Receiver; P. 
R. Albert, Grand Guide; C. A. Thompson, Grand Watchman; Dr. G. 
Schiff, John Frizzell and John W. Childress, Supreme Representatives. 
According to the provisions of the constitution adopted, the meetings of 
the Grand Lodge are held at Nashville on the third Tuesday in January. 
Annual sessions were held until 1883, when biennial sessions were sub- 
stituted. In 1878 the number of subordinate lodges was thirteen, with a 


membership of 742. There are now in the State fifty-four lodges and 
1,900 members. The A. O. U. W. is said to be the oldest beneficiary- 
secret society in this country. It embraces in its membership men 61 
every vocation, profession and occupation, employes and employers, 
workers of all classes. It has no connection with any religious sect or 
political party, but is designed to promote mental and social improve- 
ment and mutual assistance. The amount paid in benefits in Tennessee 
since its introduction into the State is over $562,000. 

The order of Royal Arcanum originated in Massachusetts, where the 
Supreme Council was incorporated November 5, 1877. The first council 
established in Tennessee was Nashville Council, No. 98, organized May 
22, 1878, with twenty-eight charter members. During the next eight- 
een months councils were organized at Memphis, Knoxville, Chatta- 
nooga, Tracy City, Shelbyville, Edgefield, South Nashville, and a second 
lodge in Nashville. On February 20, 1878, official notice was received 
that a dispensation to form a Grand Council of the Eoyal Arcanum for 
the State would be granted upon the assembling of a sufficient number 
of Past Regents to constitute the same at Pythian Hall, Nashville, on 
March 9, following. In accordance with this notice a meeting was held 
at which were present twelve Past Regents, representing seven subordinate 
councils. The following officers were elected: A. B. Tavel, Grand Re- 
gent; W. Z. Mitchell, Grand Vice-Regent; A. M. Shook, Grand Orator; J. 
B. Everett, Past Grand Regent; I. K. Chase, Grand Secretary; T. H. 
Everett, Grand Treasurer; R. A. Campbell, Grand Chaplain; W. C. Dibr- 
rell. Grand Guide ; T. M. Schleier, Grand Warden ; W. P. Phillips, Grand 
Sentry. Supreme Regent J. M. Swain then proceeded at once to in- 
stall the Grand officers, after which he pronounced the Grand Council 
legally instituted. A constitution was adopted, and the first session was 
closed. Since that time meetings of the (jrrand Council have been held 
in Nashville in March of each year. Although the growth of the order 
in the State has not been rapid, it has been remarkably well managed, 
and is now one of the most prosperous of the beneficiary societies. The 
number of members in Tennessee January 1, 1880, was 54:9. January 
1, 1886, it was 1,106, distributed among twelve subordinate councils. 
Since that time Hermitage Council has been organized in North Nash- 
ville, with twenty-three charter members. Of the Widows' and Ophans' 
Benefit Fund there was received, in the six years from 1880 to 1885 in- 
clusive, $105,383.01, while for the same period there was disbursed 

The following have been the Grand Regents elected since the first 
meeting: W. Z. Mitchell, 1881; Charles Mitchell, 1882; L. A. Gratz, 


1883; Joseph Towler, 1884; H. W. Morgan, 1885; David Douglas, 1886. 
The Grand Secretary, up to 1885, was Irvine K. Chase. Since that time 
the office has been filled by Thomas Taylor. 

On the 27th of February, 1882, George H. Thomas Post, No. 1, 
Grand Army of the Eepublic, was organized at Nashville. At the out- 
set the Post was very weak, numbering only sixteen charter members. 
May 1, 1883, the Provisional Department of Tennessee and Georgia was 
formed, with four posts and a membership of 136. The posts at that 
time, besides the one mentioned, were Lookout, No. 2, at Chattanooga; 
Memphis, No. 3, and Lincoln, No, 1, at Nashville. The Department of 
Tennessee and Georgia, comprising the States of Tennessee, Georgia 
and Alabama, was organized February 26, 1881, under special order No. 
4, from national headquarters. The following were the department 
officers elected : Department Commander, Edward S. Jones, Post 1 ; S. 
V. Department Commander, S. S. Garrett, Post 3; J. Y. Department 
Commander, Newton T. Beal, Post 17 ; Medical Director, Frank Weise, 
Post 1; Department Chaplain, W. J, Smith, Post 3; Assistant Adjutant- 
General, James Chamberlin, Post 1 ; Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, 
Charles W. Norwood, Post 2 ; Assistant Quartermaster-General, Henry 
Trauernicht, Post 1; Department Inspector, Henry E. Hinkle, Post 6; 
Judge Advocate, L. A. Gratz, Post 14; Chief Mustering Officer, J, T. 
Wolverton, Post 7 ; Council of Administration, Edward M. Main, Post 1 ; 
T. B. Edgington, Post 3; Peter Martin, Post 4; A. B. Wilson, POst 8; 
Samuel Long, Post 17. The first annual encampment was held at Chat- 
tanooga February 26 and 27, 1885, at which time the Department Com- 
mander reported twenty-eight posts on the rolls, numbering 989 members 
in good standing. The department now numbers fifty posts, having an 
aggregate membership of nearly 2,000. 



State Institutions— Early Management of the Finances— The Creation of 
THE State Debt— The Bonds Refunded— The Question of Repudiation 
—Measures to Liquidate the Indebtedness— The State Banks— The In- 
ternal Improvement Era— State Railroad Stock— Improvement of 
Navigable Water-courses— The Turnpike Companies —Illustrative 
Receipts and Disbursements— Internal Railway Projects— The Intro- 
duction OF Steam Water-craft— Catalog of State Officers— Elec- 
tion Returns— Formation of Counties— Population by Decades— Sta- 
tistics, Etc. 

HAD it been possible to maintain the primitive simplicity of the 
early government, little difficulty would have arisen concerning 
its financial management. The expenditures and receipts were very 
evenly balanced, the former consisting mainly in defraying the expenses 
of legislation. In the Territorial Assembly of 1794 Mr. Donelson, fi-om 
the committee appointed to estimate the expenses for that year, reported 
the probable expenditures at $2,890. The rates of taxation, as fixed at 
this session, were 124^ cents on each white poll; 50 cents on each black 
poll; $1 for each town lot, and 25 cents on each 100 acres of land. The 
Council had strongly urged that a tax of 12^ cents upon land was suffi- 
cient, but after considerable discussion, and several offers to compromise 
on their part, they were forced to yield to the House, which stood firm 
for the rate fixed. 

The following is a detailed account of the expenses of the Legislative 
Council and House of Representatives for the session beginning August 
25, 1794, and ending September 30, 1794. The per diem allowance for 
each member and each clerk was $2.50, and for each door keeper $1.75. 
All were allowed for ferriages, and $2.50 for each twenty-five miles of 


Griffith Rutherford, 37 days, 323 miles, 4 ferries $125 70 

John Sevier, 37 days, 200 miles, 2 ferries 112 16f 

Stockley Donelson, 37 days, 130 miles, 4 ferries 105 83J 

James "Winchester, 15 days, 312 miles, 4 ferries 69 70 

Parmenas Taylor, 37 days, 102 miles, 2 ferries 102 86| 

G. Roulstone, clerk, 37 days 92 50 

Stationery and engrossing 47 50 

William Maclin, clerk, 37 days, 380 miles, 4 ferries 131 50 

Stationery and engrossing 47 50 

Christopher Shoat, doorkeeper, 37 days 64 75 

Thomas Bounds, doorkeeper, 34 days, 12 miles 60 70 

John Stone, house rent 10 00 

$970 71t 



David Wilson, 37 days, 310 miles, 4 ferries $124 00 

James White, 37 days, 370 miles, 4 ferries 130 00 

James Ford, 37 days, 420 miles, 4 ferries 135 00 

William Cocke, 17 days, 100 miles, 2 ferries 52 33 J- 

Joseph McMinu, 37 days, 170 miles, 2 ferries 109 83^ 

George Rutledge, 37 days, 240 miles, 2 ferries 116 83J^ 

Joseph Hardin, 37 days, 150 miles, 2 ferries 107 60| 

Leroy Taylor, 35 days, 200 miles, 2 ferries 107 66| 

John Tipton, 26 days, 218 miles, 2 ferries 86 91| 

George Doherty, 37 days, 60 miles, 2 ferries 98 66| 

Samuel Wear, 37 days, 60 miles, 2 ferries 98,66f 

Alexander Kelly, 30 days, 25 miles, 2 ferries 77 66| 

John Baird, 31 days, 30 miles : 80 50 

H. Lacy, clerk, 20 days, 100 miles, 2 ferries 60 33^ 

B. Harle, clerk, 37 days, 150 miles, 2 ferries 107 66^ 

W. L. Lovely, clerk, 14 days, 200 miles, 2 ferries 55 66^ 

Richard Mynat, doorkeeper, 37 days, 40 miles 68 75 

Stationery and engrossing 102 00 

James White, hoiise rent 5 00 

$1,700 16| 

The tax levy made at this session proved amply sufficient. The joint 
committee appointed to settle with the treasurer of Washington and 
Hamilton Districts for the following year reported the finances to be in 
a very flattering condition. 

"Your committee beg leave to observe that the moneys arising from 
the tax levied by the last General Assembly very much exceeded their 
most sanguine expectations, and that such will be the state of the treas- 
ury department, that the next tax to be levied may be very much les- 
sened, and then be fully commensurate and adequate to defray every ex- 
penditure and necessary contingency of our government." 

At that time the drawing of lotteries was not an uncommon mode of 
raising money for the erection of public buildings and the support of 
public enterprises of all kinds. There seems to have been no thought of 
any immoral tendency in the promotion of these lotteries, as schools and 
churches frequently instituted them. The following is taken from the 
journal of the Assembly of 1794: "A bill to authorize the drawing of a 
lottery in the District of Mero for raising a fund for erecting a district 
gaol and stocks in Nashville; endorsed, read the third time, and passed." 

One of the first acts passed after the organization of the State gov- 
ernment was that establishing a treasury for the districts of Washing- 
ton and Hamilton, and another for Mero District. The treasurer of 
Mero District was ordered to turn over to the other treasury each year 
all the money remaining on hand, within six days after the meeting of the 
General Assembly. This plan was followed until the seat of government 


■was changed. While located at Nashville or Murfreesboro the transfer 

of funds was reversed, and the treasurer of East Tennessee reported to 

the treasurer of the other division of the State. After the settlement of 

West Tennessee another treasury was established, and the balance of 

money remaining on hand in each of the other districts at the end of the 

year was delivered to the treasurer of Middle Tennessee. In 1836 the 

three treasuries were consolidated, and the first State treasurer elected 

At the same time the office of comptroller was created. 

The following is the report of the Committee on Finance at the first 

General Assembly in 1796: 

Receipts by the treasurer of Washington and Ham- 
ilton Districts $6,380 63 

Disbursements 5,838 03 

Balance in the treasury $ 543 60 

Receipts by the treasurer of Mero District $4,900 S7{'^ 

Disbursements 2,297 33J 

Balance in the treasury $3,603 08^^ 

Whole amount on hand $3,145 Q^f^ 

The first treasurer of Mero District was Howell Tatum ; of the dis- 
tricts of Hamilton and Washington, Landon Carter. The expenses of 
the first General Assembly were $2,351.70. For the two years 1805 and 
1806 the total amount of revenue collected was $36,181.72. The dis- 
bursements for the same period were $30,110,18, and the balance re- 
maining in the treasury was $8,253.19. For the years 1817 and 1818 
the receipts were $118,008.17^, the disbursements $62,689.31, and the 
balance remaining in the treasury $83,183.35^. These amounts do not 
include the money set apart for the use of school and academies. In the 
settlement for 1825-26 an item of $3,826.50 is charged for the expenses 
of Gen. Lafayette, a large amount for such a purpose at that time, show- 
ing that the State entertained the French hero of the Revolution in a 
fitting manner. The following is an itemized account of the expendi- 
tures for the years 1829 and 1830: 

Legislature $40,965 20 

Executive 5,687 50 

.Judges 46,004 60 

Attorney-general 1,909 00 

Militia 708 88 

Public printing 12,445 18 

Criminal prosecutions 23,041 86 

County Commissioners 1,913 27 

Sheriffs' releases 3,843 98 

Treasurers' commissson 5,374 74 

Enumeration 31 86 


Solicitors : $3,518 05 

Revenue paid out 3,487 53 

Wolf scalps 2,676 00 

Miscellaneous 18,171 20 

$169,277 85 
The receipts for the same period were $175,986 52 

Up to this time tlie government had been economically administered, 
and was fi-ee from debt. But it seems impossible for any State to emerge 
fi-om the simplicity of the pioneer organization to the full development 
of a great commonwealth without incurring liabilities beyond its power to 
meet at the time they are incurred, and it requires the wisest and most 
careful management not to overstep the limits beyond which it is impos- 
sible to recover. Tennessee has been peculiarly unfortunate in this re- 
gard. Drawn into the extravagant schemes of the internal improvement 
era, she was almost overwhelmed by the losses and disasters of the civil 
war, and still further embarrassed by the rash and inconsiderate legisla- 
tion of the reconstruction period; and it is only during the present ad- 
ministration that the question, how to preserve the honor and credit of 
the State, and yet work no hardship to the taxpayer, seems to have been 

The first indebtedness of the State was incurred in 1833, when ^500,- 
000 of bonds were issued for stock in the Union Bank. Under the acts 
providing for internal improvements and the State Bank the bonded in- 
debtedness rapidly increased. In his message to the Legislature in 
October, 1839, Gov. Polk presents the following statement of the 
financial condition of the State: "The whole public debt, exclusive of the 
internal improvement bonds authorized to be issued by the last General 
Assembly, and exclusive of the State's portion of the Federal revenue held 
on deposit, amounts only to the sum of $1,763,666.62^. To meet this the 
State owns $646,600 of stock in the Union Bank," $1,000,000 in the 
Bank of Tennessee, and $263,666. 66§ in internal improvement compa- 
nies, chartered previous to the last session of the General Assembly. 
The internal improvement bonds which have been issued under the act 
of the last General Assembly bearing an interest of 5 per cent amount 
to $899,580, making the whole public debt of the State of every de- 
scription, exclusive of the Federal surplus revenue which she holds on 
deposit, $2, 666, 166. 66 1." The amount of the surplus revenue received by 
the State was $1,353,209.55, none of which was ever returned to the 
General Government. 

The repeal of the internal improvement laws in 1840 stopped the 
issue of bonds to new companies, but as it did not interfere with work 
already begun bonds to a considerable amount Avere afterward issued 


under those laws, so that the liabilities of the State had increased by- 
October, 1843, to $3,269,416.66. During the nest eight years the growth 
of the debt was not so great. The only appropriations made except for 
the necessary expenses of the government, were for the erection of the 
capitol, two issues of bonds being made under acts of 1848 and 1850. 
The comptroller's report for 1851 shows the total indebtedness to be 
$3,651,856.66, an increase of less than $400,000 in eight years. 

The General Assembly of 1851-52 passed an act directing the Gov- 
ernor to purchase, for the State, 500 acres of land belonging to the estate 
of Andrew Jackson, including the mansion and tomb. This was accord- 
ingly done at a cost of $48,000, for which bonds were issued. During 
the same year $30,000 of bonds were also issued to the agricultural 
bureau. Additional capitol bonds were issued in 1852, 1854, 1856 and 
1860, making the entire amount for that purpose, $866,000. These 
bonds with the previous issues, which had not been taken up or canceled, 
amounted to $3,896,606.06, which constituted what was known as "the 
State debt proper," at the opening of the war. This debt bore an annual 
interest of $212,388.25. At the same time the bonds loaned and endorsed 
to the various railroad companies under the internal improvement sys- 
tem, established by the Legislature of 1851-52, amounted to $13,959,000, 
the interest upon which was paid by the companies. This was the finan- 
cial condition of the State in 1861. There were issued to railroads im- 
mediately after the war, bonds to the amount of $14,513,000, making the 
entire liabilities of the State, including unpaid interest, over $35,000,000. 
The settlement of th^ enormous debt from that time until the present 
has been paramount to all other questions of legislation. For the his- 
tory of this subject since the war, this volume is largely indebted to the 
very thorough resume by Gov. Bate in his message to the Legislature of 
1883. The first act to provide for the funding of the State's indebted- 
ness was passed November 23, 1865. It authorized and instructed the 
governor to issue 6 per cent coupon bonds to an amount sufficient to 
pay off all the bonds and interest past due as well as that to fall due 
during the two following years. Under this act there were funded 
$4,941,000 of bonds. A similar act passed in 1868 provided for the 
funding of bonds maturing during the years 1868, 1869 and 1870, and 
under it were issued $2,200,000 of bonds bearing 6 per cent interest. 
Under an act of 1852 and its amendments which provided for the substi- 
tution of coupon bonds for those without coupons, there were issued 
$697,000 of bonds known as "renewals." 

In 1873 the Legislature passed another act known as "the funding 
act" under which various classes and kinds of bonds were funded, and 


bonds issued for past due interest upon tliem amounting to $6,641,000. 
So objectionable was this to the people that at the ensuing Legislature 
all provisions for the payment of interest under this act were repealed. 

An act to fund the State debt in bonds at 100 cents on the dollar and 
3 per cent annual interest, was passed by the Forty-second General 
Assembly, and became a law on April 6, 1881. Before this was in full 
operation it was thrown into the courts by injunction, and finally declared 
by the supreme court unconstitutional and void; hence no bonds were 
issued under this act. The same General Assembly was convened in a 
third extraordinary session, and its labors during this extra session on 
May 19, 1882, resulted in the passage of what is known as the " 60-6 
act," authorizing the issue of bonds at the rate of 60 cents on the dollar 
for the old bonds and the past due interest upon them, payable in thirty 
years, bearing interest as follows: The first two years 3 per cent : 
the next tw^o years 4 per cent; then 5 per cent for two years and 6 per 
cent for the remainder of the time. It was also enacted that the funding- 
should cease after January 1, 1883, leaving all bonds not so funded un- 
provided for. The act went into effect immediately after its passage, and 
before it expired by limitation there had been funded under its pro- 
visions $13,706,812.77, nearly one-third of which was made up of 
coupons. None of these five funding acts were satisfactory to both the 
people and the creditors. During the entire discussion of this subject 
there has been much difference of opinion as to the State's moral and 
legal obligation to pay the debt in full. Many have held that the State 
should pay the debt in full without regard to the manner in which it was 
contracted. The sentiments of these persons are expressed by Gov. Por- 
ter in a message to the Legislature: 

"The settlement of this debt is paramount to all questions of legisla- 
tion that can engage the attention of the General Assembly ; it involves 
the honor and good name of the State, the credit and honor of every one 
of its citizens. It is a liability that was voluntarily contracted, and 
whether it was wisely created or not cannot now be a question. I hold 
and have always believed that in the light of moral and legal duty, as a 
question of commercial honor and State pride, the best settlement of the 
debt for Tennessee would he tcj pay the entire debt according to the 
terms of the contract." 

Gov. Hawkins expresses the same opinion. He says: "I am free to 
declare that to my mind there can be no well founded question as to the 
moral and legal obligation of the State for the ultimate payment of the 
bonds." A large part of those who entertained no doubts as to the va- 
lidity of the entire debt considered its payment in full an impossibility, 


and that taking into consideration the great loss m revenue to the State 
occasioned by the war, it would be no dishonor to make the best terms 
possible with the owners of tjie bonds. This class in general supported 
the " 60-6 act," and considered it an equitable settlement of the debt. 

Others held that the bonds issued to railroad companies, under the 
act of 1852, formed no part of the State's liabilities, and that the owners 
of the bonds should look to the companies for their payment. 

Another class, and the one which was in the majority, held that the 

liabilities of the State should be resolved into two parts. The " State 

debt proper," and the railroad debt for which the State had pledged its 

"faith and credit." They asserted that the "State debt proper" in 1882 

consisted of the following bonds: 

Capitol bonds iS!493,000 

Hermitage bonds 35,000 

Agricultural Bureau bonds 18,000 

Union Bank bonds 125,000 

Bank of Tennessee bonds ' 214,000 

Bonds issued to various turnpike companies 741,000 

Hiwassee Railroad bonds 280,000 

East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad bonds 144,000 

Memphis & La Grange Railroad bonds 68,000 

Total $2,118,000 

These bonds with the unpaid interest, exclusive of the interest which 
accrued from April 12, 1861, to May 26, 1865, it was held, should be 
funded dollar for dollar, and that the new bonds should bear the same 
rate of interest which the original bonds surrendered bore. 

It was contended that the State, as a matter of right and equity, was 
entitled to a large abatement of the remainder of the de])t. The grounds 
for this were that it was never intended that the State would be called 
upon to pay the bonds issued to railroad companies; that a large part of 
those bonds were issued "by authority of legislative acts passed and en- 
forced immediately after the war, and by Legislatures elected at a time 
when more than one-half, if not three-fourths of all the citizens of Ten- 
nessee who had been voters were disfranchised ;" and that the purchasers 
of the bonds so issued on account of this irregularity in State govern- 
ment at the time of their issuance and sale bought them at greatly re- 
duced prices. It was therefore considered equitable to creditors and the 
State alike to fund this part of the debt with the unpaid interest, ej:clu- 
sive of that which accrued during the war, 50 cents on the dollar and 
3 per cent interest. The only exception was that the bonds, no mat- 
ter of what issue, held by literary, educational, and charitable institu- 
tions; also those owned by Mrs. James K. Polk should be funded dollar 
for dollar at 6 per cent interest. 


This plan of settlement was embodied in the platform adopted by 
the Democratic State Convention in June, 1882. Upon that platform the 
canvass was made, and at the ensuing election a large majority of the 
votes were cast in its- favor. Thus sanctioned by the people the Governor 
reviewed the plan in his message to the Legislature, and a bill in accord- 
ance with its provisions was passed March 15, 1883. At that time, ac- 
cording to the closest calculation, the entire indebtedness of the State 
including principal and interest amounted to 128,786,066.39. Of this 
sum the State debt proper bonds and other bonds to be funded at 6 per 
cent made up $2,783,150, leaving $26,002,916.39 to be funded at 50 
cents on the dollar and 3 per cent interest. This makes the total 
bonded indebtedness of the State,* under operation of the act of 1883, 
about $15,784,608.19. The funding board consisting of the governor, 
comptroller and treasurer began its work in July, 1883, and on March 8, 
1886, bonds to the amount of about $19,000,000 had been funded. 

Since this plan of settlement is stamped with the approval of the 
majority of the citizens and taxpayers, and as the progress of funding 
evidences the acquiescence of the creditors of the State, it is probable 
that the question has been definitely settled. Should all the bonds be 
presented for funding, the State will ultimately have to pay $492,399 
interest anniially. The decisions of the courts making the State liable 
for the payment of the notes of the old Bank of Tennessee have added 
nearly $1,000,000 to the debt within the past two years. An act of the 
Legislature of 1883 provides for the issue of treasury certificates to take 
the place of bank notes. It also directs that $200,000 of these certificates 
should be taken up annually in the payment of taxes. No steps have 
yet been taken toward paying the bonded indebtedness, but it will un- 
doubtedly be a question for next Legislature. The bonds issued under 
the funding act of 1883 are made payable in thirty years and redeem- 
able at the pleasure of the State. With a continuation of the present 
prosperous and healthy growth, and with wise and economical manage- 
ment of the government, the State, at the expiration of the thirty years, 
will have no debt to refund. 

After the passage of the ordinance of secession, in May 6, 1861, the 
Governor was authorized to issue $5,000,000 of bonds bearing 8 per 
cent interest payable in ten years. Only two-fifths of these bonds were 
sold, the remaining three-fifths being held as contingent, subject to the 
orders of the Governor and the Military and Financial Boards. The 
following month the act was amended and the Governor authorized to 
issue treasury notes in denominations of from $5 to $100 bearing 6 
per cent interest in lieu of the $3,000,000 of bonds. 

*Gov. Bate. Message of January 12, 1885. 


The first bank in whicli tlie State became a stockholder was incorpor- 
ated by an act of the General Assembly, November 20, 1811, under the- 
name of the "President, Directors and Company of the Bank of the 
State of Tennessee." The charter provided that the capital stock should 
not exceed $400,000, divided into shares of $50 each. Subscriptions- 
for stock were opened on January 1, 1812, in Knoxville, and in the fol- 
lowing counties: Sullivan, Carter, Washington, Greene, Cocke, Jefferson, 
Hawkins, Sevier, Blount, Grainger, Claiborne, Anderson, Campbell, 
Eoane, Rhea and Bledsoe, to each of which were assigned 440 shares. 
The State became a stockholder to the amount of $20,000, but reserved 
the right to withdraw at the end of ten years. The s^^bscriptions were 
payable in gold or silver, and divided into eight equal installments. As 
soon as $25,000 was paid in the stockholders met in Knoxville and elect- 
ed officers, except one director, who was named by the governor. 

The main liank was located at Knoxville, with branches in Clarksville, 
Columbia and Jonesboro. No notes of less denomination than $5 could 
be issued until 1815, when the limit was reduced to $1. The bank was 
chartered for a period of thirty years, but continued only until 1828. 
when it began to close up its aff'drs. which was accomplished about 
three years later. 

During the year 1820 the people of Tennessee, ijj common with those 
of the other Western States, experienced their first financial panic, and 
so disastrous were the consequences that Gov. McMinn convened the 
Legislature in extra session to provide some means of relief. Accord- 
ingly, on July 26 of that year, an act was passed "to establish a bank 
of the State of Tennessee, for the purpose of relieving the distresses of 
the community, and improving the revenues of the State." The capital 
stock was fixed at $1,000,000, in bills payable to order or bearer, to be 
issued on the credit and security of the borrower, and the whole to be 
warranted by the State on the proceeds of the sales of public lands. 
The treasurers of East and West Tennessee were ordered to deposit all 
the public moneys in the bank, and the governor was authorized to issue 
stock bearing 6 per cent interest, to an amount not exceeding $250,000. 
A branch bank was established at Knoxville, to which was allowed four- 
tenths of the capital stock. An agency was also established in each 
county in the State formed previous to the year 1819. The president 
and directors, ten in number, were elected on a joint ballot of the Leg- 
islature. The officers were instructed to put the bank into operation by 
the 15th of the next October, and to issue $500,000 in bills of denomi- 
nations of not less than $5 nor more than $100. Provision was after- 
ward made for the issue of $75,000 in fractional notes. Accordins" to 


the charter either the Nashville Bank or the bank at Knoxville, or both, 
too-ether with their branches, could consolidate and incorporate them- 
selves with the State bank, but this they were unwilling to do. 

The bank began business at the appointed time, and at first seemed 
to meet the expectations of its founders, but its capital having been dis- 
tributed over the State, large amounts were lost by the defalcations of 
the county agents, and to add still further to its embarrassment, the 
cashier of the main bank, Joel Parrish, in 1832, was found to have per- 
mitted overdrafts to the amount of about ^80,000, the greater part of 
which was lost. On account of the number of branches, or agencies, 
this bank was sometimes referred to as the " Saddle Bags Bank." Gov. 
Carroll, in his message to the Legislature in 1833, discussed the subject 
at considerable length, and advised the closing of the bank, wisely add- 
ing that " the establishment of banks for the purpose of relieving the 
people from pecuniary distress, is, in most cases, ruinous to those who 
avail themselves of such relief." 

In conformity with the recommendation of the Governor, the Leg- 
islature, during the session, passed an act abolishing the bank, and pro- 
viding that its funds should be deposited in the Union Bank, then just 
incorporated. The capital stock of the latter bank was limited to $3,- 
000,000, of which the State subscribed $500,000, in her own bonds, due 
in fifteen, twenty, twenty-five and thirty years, bearing 5 per cent inter- 
est. In consideration of this support the bank agreed to pay annually 
to the State a bonus of one-half of 1 per cent on the capital stock 
paid in. The bank began business March 4, 1833, and from that time 
until the civil war was one of the leading monetary institutions of Ten- 
nessee. Its stock was mainly held by Eastern capitalists, over 16,000 
shares having been taken in Philadelphia. 

In 1846 the president of the Bank of Tennessee was authorized to dis- 
pose of the State's stock in the Union Bank, then amounting to $646,000, 
provided he could obtain for it an amount sufficient to pay off the bonds 
issued to the bank. This could not be accomplished, and the State still 
had $125,000 of those bonds when the bank went out of existence. The 
Planter's Bank, contemporary with the Union Bank, did an equally ex- 
tensive business, but received no aid from the State. 

In 1817 a petition for the location of a branch of the United States 
Bank at Nashville was signed by a number of the leading men of the 
State and forwarded to Washington, but before it was considered, the Gen- 
eral Assembly passed a law forbidding the opening of such a bank in 
Tennessee. Ten years later the law was repealed and the bank, with a 
nominal capital of $1,000,000, was established. It continued to do busi- 


ness until 1832 when President Jackson's veto of the bill rechartering the 
United States Bank necessitated the closing of its doors. Stock banks, 
like the Union and Planters, were established to take its place, and a dis- 
astrous system of over-banking and consequent over-trading Avas the 

The contraction in the currency and the great depression in business 
following the panic of 1837, induced the Legislature to establish the Bank 
of Tennessee. By an act passed January 19, 1838, this institution was 
chartered in the name and for the benefit of the State, and for the sup- 
port of which the faith and credit of the State were pledged. The capital 
stock was fixed at ^5,000,000, to be raised and constituted as follows: 
The whole of the common school fund, the proceeds of the sale of the 
Ocoee lands, the surplus revenue on deposit with the State, and an addi- 
tional sum in specie or funds convertible into specie raised on the credit 
of the State, sufiicient to make up the ^5,000,000. The Governor was 
authorized to issue bonds to the amount of $2,500,000, due in thirty 
years, bearing 6 per cent interest, payable semi-annually. The act al- 
so provided tliat the bonds should not be sold at less than their par 
value, and it was with the greatest difficulty that any of them were dis- 
posed of, the "faith and credit" of all the "Western States at that time, be- 
ing at a very low ebb. The American Life Insurance & Trust Com- 
pany of New York finally purchased two-fifths of the bonds, and the re- 
mainder were held by the bank for several months, when they were or- 
dered to be canceled. 

The location of the branch banks was left to the directors, who created 
considerable dissatisfaction in distributing them. The places chosen 
were Eogersville, Athens, Columbia, Shelbyville, Clarksville, Trenton, 
and Summerville. Another at Sparta was afterward created. The bank 
went into operation in the early part of 1838 with a capital of $1,000,000 
derived fi'om the sale of bonds and $90,893.71 of school fund. By April 
1, 1839, this had been increased to $2,073,356.15 by the addition of the 
surplus revenue, and the proceeds of the Ocoee lands. The redemption 
of notes in specie had been suspended by the other banks of the State in 
1837. January 1, 1839, a general resumption of specie payments took 
place, but the movement was found to be premature, and in the follow- 
ing October another suspension occurred. At that time the Legislature 
had just assembled, and Gov. Polk devotes nearly the whole of a long 
message to a discussion of the financial difficulties. He states that the 
banking capital of the State exceeds $10,000,000, and discourages any 
attempt to increase it. He refers to the recent suspension of specie pay- 
ments as a matter of great regret, and adds that "the only substantial 



and permanent relief is to be found in habits of economy and industry, 
and the productive labor of our people." 

In compliance with a resolution adopted by the next General Assem- 
bly, the banks on January 1, 1843, once more be^an the redemption of 
their notes in specie, and the succeeding ten years were the most pros- 
perous in their history. Especially was this the case Avith the Bank of 
Tennessee, which was carefully managed, and was looked upon with 
pride by the citizens of the State. The Legislature of 1851-52, how- 
ever, began the ruinous policy of granting charters to a large number of 
banks, the most of which were founded upon fictitious capital. Each is- 
sued its paper to any extent that it" could be disposed of, at no matter 
how great a discount. The volume of currency thus unduly expanded, 
the credit of the old banks was impaired and their profits reduced. This 
extravagant system of over-banking, which had invaded every State in the 
Union, culminated in the panic of 1857, in which tlie experiences of 
twenty years before were renewed. Gov. Johnson foresaw this result, 
and in his message to the Legislature in 1853 he advised the gradual 
closing up of the business of the State bank. This advice he renews in 
his messages of 1855 and 1857. In the last he gives a report from the 
directors of the bank in which they state that they have come to the con- 
clusion with great unanimity, "and from a settled conviction, that the best 
interests of the State require it, that the Bank of Tennessee should be 
put into liquidation and its concerns closed at as early a period as the 
convenience of the citizens will allow." These recommendations were 
disregarded by the Legislature. Had they been acted upon, and the bank 
closed up, a large reduction of the State debt would have been effected. 
In October, 1857, the Bank of Tennessee suspended specie payment 
and began to curtail its business. The other banks did likewise. This 
was continued until 1861, when the exigencies of war required an in- 
crease in the circulating medium, and a law was passed compelling them 
to reverse their policy. Accordingly large issues of new notes were 
made, the circulation of the State bank, on September 1, 1862, reaching 

When the Federal occupation of the State became imminent the 
banks were given permission to carry their assets into other States. The 
Bank of Tennessee was transferred to Georgia, and its specie deposited 
at Atlanta, where it afterward fell into the hands of the United States 
authorities. After the removal of the bank from Nashville its assets, to 
the amount of over $8,000,000, were converted into Confederate bonds, 
coupons and treasury notes, which of course became valueless upon the 
restoration of peace. Gov. Brownlow, in his message of 1865, advised 


the closing up of all existing banks, declaring them insolvent, and se- 
verely criticising their management previous to the war. In February, 
1866, an act " to wind up and settle the business of the Bank of Ten- 
nessee " was passed. Six directors were appointed for this purpose, who 
were instructed to receive in payment for debts due the bank .United 
States currency, or notes of the bank issued prior to May 6, 1861. The 
notes issued after that date were known as "New Issue" or "Torbett Is- 
sue," from the name of the president, G. C. Torbett, elected May 9, 
1861. These were declared utterly void. 

In May, 1866, by appointment of the chancery court, S. Watson be- 
came the trustee of the bank, and then began a series of litigations ex- 
tending over a period of twenty years. The act closing the bank gave 
the school fund the preference in the distribution of assets over all other 
creditors. The depositors secured a decision of the supreme court 
against the validity of this act, and the holders of the " New Issue" de- 
manded the redemption of their notes, also obtained a favorable decision. 
The assets of the bank were not sufficient to redeem these notes, and the 
State is compelled to receive them for taxes. The amount of the "New 
Issue" has not yet been definitely determined, but it is not far from. 
$1,000,000, treasury certificates having already been issued for nearly 
that amount. According to the constitution adopted in 1870, the found- 
ing of a bank by the State is prohibited. Section 31, Article 2, reads 
as follows: "The credit of the State shall not be hereafter loaned or given 
to, or in aid of any person, association, company, corporation or munici- 
pality. Nor shall the State become the owner in whole, or in part, of 
any bank, or a stockholder with others in any association, company or 

In 1875 some effort was made to amend the constitution and estab- 
lish another State Bank. Comptroller Burch in his report in 1874 ad- 
vocated this measure. He proposed that the State issue $5,000,000 of 
bonds, which he thought could be sold at 90 per cent. This would yield 
$4,500,000 as the capital stock of the bank, and an issue of notes could 
then be made to the amount of $13,500,000, on the basis of $3 circula- 
tion to $1 of capital. This scheme received but little support, and it is 
not pi'obable that so long as the present system of national banks is 
maintained, the people of Tennessee will care to renew their experience 
with State banks. 

The early pioneers depended upon trails and streams for their routes 
of travels, but with the growth of the settlements better means of com- 
munication became a necessity. Streams that were navigable for canoes 
and small boats might be entirely unfit for commercial purposes until 


the obstructions which had accumulated for centuries were removed. 
The narrow trails winding through the forest over hills and down deep 
ravines were impassable to the vehicles of civilization. 

So early as November, 1785, the General Assembly of North Carolina 
adopted measures for the better protection of the Cumberland settle- 
ments, which from their isolated position were peculiarly exposed to 
Indian depredations. It was enacted that 300 men should be embodied 
for the protection of those settlements, and that when assembled at 
the lower end of Clinch Mountain the troops should cut and clear a 
road from that point by the most eligible route to Nashville, making the 
same ten feet wide and fit for the passage of wagons and carts.* Dur- 
ing the year the road, as directed in the act, was opened. Hereafter, 
instead of by the long and circuitous route through the wilderness of 
Kentucky, the people from the Atlantic section reached the Cumberland 
through the new road which ran by the way of the Crab Orchard and the 
Flat Bock. Two years later the road was found insufficient for the pur- 
poses of the vast immigration which was pouring into the country. Ac- 
cordingly at the representation of the members from Davidson and 
Sumner Counties the General Assembly of North Carolina authorized the 
militia officers of these counties to appoint two or more persons to examine, 
survey and mark out the best and most convenient way from the lower 
end of Clinch Mountain to the settlement of Cumberland, and to order 
out the militia of these counties to cut and clear the ro^d so marked. 
The regiments were ordered to be divided into classes and parts of classes, 
beginning with the first, and so on in rotation, till the road should be 
cut. A tax was also assessed to defray the expense of opening the road. 
Under the provisions of this act the old road was widened and cleared, 
and a road leading into it was soon afterward cut fi-om Bledsoe's Lick. 
The following year provision was made for still further improving these 
roads, and also for exploring the route making a road through the 
wilderness lying between the Cumberland settlement and the Holston 
counties. From this time, as the exigencies of the country demanded, 
other roads and channels of communication were opened, and as the 
country still further filled up and developed the question of internal im- 
provement became one of the most important topics for the legislators. 
Under that head were included the construction of roads, the improve- 
ment of rivers and harbors, and later the building of railroads. For 
several years after the adoption of the United States Constitution there 
was much difference of opinion as to the right of the National Govern- 
ment to appropriate money for this purpose, the Federalists as a party 

* Kamsey. 


favoring it, and the Eepublicans advocating the opposite policy. The 
opinion of the former finally prevailed, and a system of internal improve- 
ment was inaugurated. The General Government, however, undertook 
only works of national importance, while those of a more local nature 
were left to the individual States. 

The agitation of this subject after the organization of the State was 
begun as early as 1801, during the administration of Gov. Sevier, who, 
as well as all the governors succeeding him to 1837, made it a special 
point in their messages to the Legislature to urge the* adoption of meas- 
ures for the construction of highways and the improvements of the 
navigable streams. The delay in making appropriations for this purpose 
was occasioned by the opinion prevalent among the farming community 
that it would be to the exclusive interest of the commercial class.* 
Gov. Carroll, in his message to the Legislature of 1829-30, after review- 
ing the work done by the General Government and some of the other 
States, asks: "With these bright examples before us, does it become 
Tennessee to be idle?" The Legislature undoubtedly thought that this 
interrogatory deserved a negative answer, as they appropriated $150,000 
for removing the obstructions in streams, and for other improvements. 
Six commissioners were elected to constitute a board of internal improve- 
ments, with power to appoint a civil engineer to superintend the work; 
$30,000 was to be used in West Tennessee, and the remainder divided 
equally between the other two divisions of the State. 

The constitution of 1834 declared that a well regulated system of 
internal improvements is calculated to develop the resources of the 
State, and to promote the happiness and prosperity of the people, there- 
fore it ought to be encouraged by the General Assembly. In 1836, in 
compliance with the above section of the constitution, a general system 
of internal improvements was established. The act provided that 
when two-thirds of the capital stock of any company, organized for the 
purpose of constructing any railroad or macadamized turnpike within the 
limits of the State, had been subscribed, the Governor, in behalf of the 
State, should subscribe the remaining one-third, and issue bonds bear- 
ing 5^ per cent interest; therefore with the founding of the Bank 
of Tennessee a more extended system was adopted. Under this scheme 
the State became subscriber for one-half of the stock in all rail- 
road and turnpike companies, provided that the whole amount of stock 
taken by the State had not reached $1,000,000. The profits arising 
from the State stock, in the various companies, was set apart to constitute 
a fund for the redemption of the bonds issued. In addition to the above 

♦McMinn in his message to the Legislature in 1817. 


$300,000 was appropriated for improving the navigation of rivers, to 
be divided equally among the three divisions of the State. Under these 
acts there were issued to the various turnpike companies bonds to the 
amount of nearly ^1, 500,000, and to railroads, about $800,000. 

By the latter part of 1839 a reaction had set in against the internal 
improvement schemes. It was found that the State was becoming 
heavily involved in debt, and that the results were not commensurate 
with the outlay. Many of the improvements were of permanent value 
and general importance, but the law was open to abuse, and charters were 
frequently granted for local and unimportant work. The profits arising 
from these companies were small, and the bonds issued to them still 
form a part of the State's indebtedness. Had the charters been granted 
with greater discrimination, and the work placed imder efficient superin- 
tendency, the results would have been more satisfactory. 

In January, 1840, all the laws authorizing the Governor to subscribe 
stock on behalf of the State in internal improvement companies were re- 
pealed. This, however, was not to interfere with any work heretofore 
commenced and carried on in good faith. The governor, comptroller 
and attorney-general were constituted a board to examine the reports 
of special commissioners, and to decide upon the policy of completing 
any work already begun. This board was afterward made to consist of 
the comptroller, secretary of state and the president of the Bank of Ten- 

No more aid was granted to corporations by the State until 1852, 
when the Legislature again passed an act creating a general system of 
internal improvements. It provided that when railroad companies had 
graded a certain amount of track, that bonds, to an amount not exceed- 
ing $8,000 per mile (afterward increased to $10,000), should be issued 
to equip the roads. For the security of this loan, the State held a lien 
upon the road and its iranchises. The companies were required by the 
act and its amendments to provide for the payment of the coupons on 
the bonds as they matured, and also a sinking fund to pay the bonds 
themselves. This, at the time the bonds were issued, it was thought the 
companies would be able to do ; and it is probable, had the war between 
the States not occurred, the public expectation would have been realized. * 
In any case, it appeared as if the State's investment was sufficiently se- 
cured, since the lien which was held upon the roads was in the nature 
of a first mortgage, and took precedence over all other claims. But the 
general depreciation in values, and the unproductive character of much 
of the property rendered the sale of the roads, at anything like their 
actual cost, impossible. From the statement of Gov. Bate, it appears that 

*Governor Bate. '~~' 


twelve railroads, to whicli $20,502,684 of bonds had been issued, were 
sold under judicial proceedings instituted by tlie State, with a loss to the 
State of $13,804,684 The following are the roads with the respective 
■amounts annexed to each, which made up the sum of this loss. 

Amt. issued Amt. for which 

to road. road sold. 

Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville $3,953,793 $1,700 000 

McMinuville & Manchester 1,091,578 'sOo'oOO 

Nashville & Northwestern 4,541,129 3 400000 

Edgefield & Kentucky 3',08l!429 "'gOO.'oOO 

Knoxville& Kentucky 3,816,176 350,000 

Cincinnati. Cumberland Gap & Charleston 1,657,308 300,000 

Winchester & Alabama l,79o[536 30o!oOO 

Rogersville & Jeflferson 533,013 23,000 

East Tennessee & Western North Carolina 448,000 20^000 

Tennessee & Pacific 1,220,530 SOO^OOO 

Knoxville & Charleston 816.500 150,000 

Southern Railroad Company 553,790 

Totals $20,503,684 $6,698,000 

Loss on sale $1,3,804.684 

Under the various internal improvement laws there was granted, or 
loaned to railroad companies, bonds to the amount of over $29,000,000, 
for the whole of whicli the State became responsible. If the amount 
which the State received from these roads is alone considered, the in- 
vestment must be regarded as a gigantic failure, but the benefits result- 
ing indirectly from these roads should not be overlooked. Gov. Hawkins, 
in discussing this subject, used the following language: "Subsequent re- 
sults demonstrate the wisdom and foreisght of the projectors of this 
grand system of internal improvement in our State. Under the encourage- 
ment which was thus given, various railroads were projected and con- 
structed within the borders of our State. As rapidly as the several com- 
panies could meet tlie conditions of the law, the bonds were issued, 
placed upon the market and sold. Our State immediately, as if awak- 
ened to a new life, took rapid strides in prosperity. The aggregate value 
of taxable property in the State, as shown by the comptroller's report for 
1855, was $219,012,051.81. In 1861 it had increased to $368,202,050, 
a gain of $149,189,998 in six years." 

No bonds were granted to railroad companies after 1867, and the 
constitution of 1870 forbids the loaning or giving of the credit of the 
State to any corporation or company, although it reaffirms the section of 
the old constitution which declared that a well regulated system of inter- 
nal improvement is calculated to develop the resources of the State and 
to promote the happiness and prosperity of the people, therefore it ouo-ht 
to be encouraged. The constitution of 1870 also prohibits the State 



from becoming a stockholder in any company. This, however, does not 
interfere with the rights of counties or incorporated towns to vote aid to 
railroads or other enterprises of a like character. Previous to May 26, 
1886, the principal railroads of the State, with the exception of the Illi- 
nois Central system and the Mobile & Ohio, were five feet gauge. The 
question of reducing them to a conformity with the standard gauge had 
been agitated for several years, but nothing in this direction was done 
until the spring of 1886, Avhen a convention of railroad officials was held in 
Atlanta, G"a., and the matter taken up in earnest. It was decided by the 
convention to adopt the gauge of the Pennsylvania Road, which is four 
feet and nine inches, and during the last week in May the change was 
made. The Mobile & Ohio Road changed its gauge in the fall of 1885. 
The following table shows the receipts and disbursements of the State 
government from 1837: 





October 1 1887 

$ 281,596 63 

533,930 73 

543,739 79 

473,033 01 

576,943 71 

710,907 61 

790,695 53 

1,004,004 94 

1.202,047 04 

1,035.715 22 

1,451,175 87 

1,848,094 88 

129,991 38 

1,098,970 55 

3,508,586 91 

5,.S86.537 56 

1 156,159 82 

429,758 61 

470,748 75 

623,737 27 

506,688 40 

643,314 33 

803,436 66 

933,431 35 

1,218.387 04 

1,154,807 79 

1,502,519 04 

1,704,287 61 

130,670 15 

1,128,986 86 

2,948,652 68 

5,858,004 06 

3,142.282 01 

2,432,858 00 

3,290,158 41 

4,715,795 12 

1,661,869 79 

1,400,316 47 

1,584,633 33 

1,765,072 38 

$ 75,437 31 

October 1 1839 

116,599 43 

October 1 1841 

189,590 47 

October 1 1843 

38,875 21 

October 1 1845 

109,829 52 

October 1 1847 

177,381 73 

October 1 1849 

153,198 11 

October 1 1851 

332,771 80 

October 1 1858 

206,431 80 

October 1, 1855 

87,839 23 

October 1 1857 

36,496 06 

October 1 1859 

180,303 33 

October 1, 1865* 

October 1, 1866 

October 1, 1867 

589,950 54 

October 1 1869 

28,649 43 

October 1 1871 

3,590,926 95 
2,420,091 17 
3,618,703 53 
4,536,422 76 
2,000,883 64 
1,144,349 82 
1,870,224 02 
2,194,886 98 

159 44 

October 1, 1871, to December 3, 1873 

January 1 1873 to December 20, 1874 

159 44 
328,704 55 

December 20 1876 

139,332 19 

December 20 1878 

478,346 04 

December 20 1880 . 

222,424 39 

December 20 1882 

508,015 08 

December 20, 1884 

645,214 83 

♦From May to October 1. 

The history of railroad enterprises in Tennessee is one of singular 
and absorbing interest. The movement toward awakening public in- 
terest in railroad construction, occurred as early as the year 1835, when 
in the language of Gov. Cannon, " the spirit of internal improvement 
was abroad in the land." During that year Col. Robert T. Hayne, of 
South Carolina, whose debate with Daniel Webster on the Foster reso- 
lutions gave him a world wide reputation, visited Nashville, and in an 
able address advocated the construction of a railway from Memphis to 
Knoxville, thence to Charleston, S. C, so as to connect the sea-board- with 


the Mississippi Eiver, the great inland route of navigation. No attempt 
however, was made to put the plan into operation. 

A second effort was made the next year by William Armour, repre- 
sentative to the Legislature from Shelby County, to unite the Mississippi 
with the sea-board by constructing a line "from the most eligible point on 
said river, as near the center of the State as practicable, to the Tennessee 
Kiver ; thence near the center of the State to a point on the Virginia line." 
October 10, 183(3, a convention was held in the Federal court room at the 
capitol for the purpose of discussing the subject of internal improvement. 
Sixteen counties was represented, and Col. Eobert Allen was chosen chair- 
man. The session lasted four days, during which time a resolution advocat- 
ing the construction of the above road was adopted. The subject was pre- 
sented to the Legislature, which was in session at that time, and ^15,000 
was appropriated for surveying a route for the " Central Eailway." 
Albert M. Lea was appointed chief engineer, with instructions to survey 
the line through the State, and to estimate the cost of both a single and 
double-tracked railway ; also, the comparative cost of a turnpike over the 
same route through Middle and East Tennessee. His estimate placed 
the cost of a single-tracked road from Perryville, on the Tennessee Kiver, 
to the Virginia line, at $0,421,718.60, and for the the entire distance, 
500 miles, at $7,841,718.60. A double-tracked road over the same route, 
he thought would cost $11,154,968.60. He also estimated the receipts 
and expenditures of such a road. Through Middle and East Tennessee 
he placed the number of passengers to be carried at an average of 100 jjer 
day each way, which at 5 cents per mile would produce a yearly income 
of $1,370,575. The same number of tons of freight, at 6 cents per mile, 
would produce $1,644,690, a total of $3,015,265. The cost of carrying 
the passengers at ^ cent per mile, and freight at 1 cent per mile, would 
amount to $696,565, which added to the cost of repairs, $659,298.11 
makes a total annual expenditure of $1,355,863,11, leaving a net revenue 
of $1,659,401.49. The estimates for West Tennessee are made on" the 
same scale, except that the rate for carrying freight is fixed at 3 cents per 
mile, and the amount of business is placed at only one-half that of the 
other division of the State. The net earnings of this part of the road 
would thus amount to $214,615.96. 

These estimates both as to the construction and operation of such a 
road, would scarcely coincide with those of an experienced railroad oper- 
ator of to-day, and they serve to illustrate how little was then known 
about such enterprises. Railroads were projected on a grand scale, but 
seemingly with little regard to the demands of the trade and commerce of 
sections through which they were to pass, or the comparative cost of 


construction over a less direct route. The engineer of tlie above road 
strongly advocated its construction, but the great financial crash of that 
year rendered a successful movement in that direction impossible. 

During the same year that the Central Eoad was projected a charter 
was procured for the Hiwassee Railroad, through the influence of Gen. 
James H. Eeagan, representative to the Legislature fi-om McMinn 
County. The charter required that stock amounting to $600,000 should 
be subscribed within two years. On July 4, 1836, a railroad convention 
composed of delegates from all the Northern States, Maryland and the 
Southern States met in Knoxville ; Eobert T. Hayne, of South Carolina, 
was made president. The convention adopted measures for the construc- 
tion of a road from Cincinnati or Louisville, through Cumberland Gap, 
up the French Broad Eiver and on to Charleston. This route was not 
satisfactory to the delegates from Georgia and lower East Tennesse. The 
delegates from McMinn County, one of whom was T. N. Vand